SiFi Networks plans to pass 40K homes per month with fiber by 2023

Sept. 29, 2021
SiFi is currently working alongside its delivery partners with more than 40 cities across the United States, covering over 1.5 million homes and businesses, and has over 100 cities interested in becoming one of the firm's FiberCity affiliates.

Ben Bawtree-Jobson, CEO of SiFi Networks, on Sept. 28 announced his company’s aggressive plans to launch it Open Access FiberCities networks in 30 U.S. communities by the end of 2022.

Bawtree-Jobson, who made the announcement at the Broadband Communities Summit in Houston, told reporters SiFi will be committing $2 billion from private investors and will begin deploying in 30 cities by the end of next year at no cost to taxpayers, and is working actively with nearly 100.

"SiFi Networks is on a huge growth path,” said Bawtree-Jobson. “With a vast amount of capital raised to fuel our growth plans—we’ll be expanding our deployment of fiber next month and expect to be passing 40,000 homes per month by 2023. In our FiberCities, we make open access fiber available to every home, business, and anchor institution in the communities we serve,” he added.

Founded in 2012, SiFi Networks privately funds, builds and operates citywide, open-access, smart city -enabled fiber networks across the U.S.

SiFi is currently working alongside its delivery partners with more than 40 cities across the United States, covering over 1.5 million homes and businesses, and has over 100 cities interested in becoming one of the firm's FiberCity affiliates. SiFi’s open-access business model allows multiple internet service providers to deliver various services and offerings on its network.

To help close the digital divide, SiFi Networks also announced it will ramp up its FiberCity Aid initiative, a groundbreaking digital inclusion program that subsidizes Gigabit-speed broadband for low-income residents in SiFi FiberCities.

“[Our] Open Access model opens up new markets quickly for ISPs at a lower capital exposure. These ISPs—including smaller companies that are ordinarily locked out of the market—now have access to a large customer base and can build a brand. ISPs in SiFi FiberCity networks wind up with great margins,” asserted Bawtree-Jobson.

SiFi on the move

SiFi’s track record has piqued the interest of investors, noted Bawtree-Jobson. In September, the company announced that APG, acting on behalf of Dutch pension fund clients, would make a $500 million equity investment to fund new SiFi FiberCities; separately, APG also acquired a 16.7% stake in the company.

The momentum has also attracted internet service providers (ISPs) like GigabitNow and Flume Internet, providing FiberCity residential customers with symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbps.

Because SiFi Networks uses an open access network architecture, the company notes that multiple ISPs and other service providers will share space on SiFi’s fiber infrastructure.

This model instantly infuses the market with competition, contends the company, "giving communities a much-needed choice against existing cable monopolies and duopolies whose networks have fallen far behind new technologies and skyrocketing consumer demand," it added in a press release.

SiFi has also created a Partner Program for ISPs to sign up in, receive RFPs, get vetted, and potentially have access to existing SiFi Networks’ cities, including:  East Hartford, Connecticut; Salem, Massachusetts; Saratoga Springs, New York; Placentia, California; Simi Valley, California; and Fullerton, California.

Bawtree-Jobson warned that cities need to be thinking about internet and communications policy now, as existing cable and copper networks are at capacity. He stated, “Communities need to make policy decisions pertaining to broadband in the next 24 months. Prioritizing long-term competition should be first and foremost in the minds of lawmakers so their cities and towns are no longer hamstrung by large monopolies.”

In addition to gigabit-speed internet, SiFi noted its FiberCities will run smart city applications to create municipal efficiencies such as public WiFi, traffic management, public safety enhancements, more efficient street lighting, and better access to government services, the company said.

Bawtree-Jobson concluded, “Communities that have invested in smart city services typically see significant savings over traditional service delivery. We’re able to partner with communities to build FiberCities on an Open Access network, using private capital, at no cost to taxpayers. It’s a win for consumers, it’s a win for business, and it’s a win for government."

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