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Broadband Fiber throughout the City

Sep 28, 2023

Council’s Utilities Committee today passed legislation that would create an underground city-wide fiber network for use by internet, businesses and other companies. The legislation must still be passed by Finance, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee before going to a full vote of Council. 

The agreement, if passed, creates an underground installation of fiber by SiFi at no cost to the City. SiFi officials said it is expected to cost half a billion dollars to install fiber throughout Cleveland.

SiFi, where they can, would burrow under the city’s right away.  In some cases they would have to create trenches on the city’s tree lawns to pull the fiber throughor move sidewalks for the burrowing or trenching. After, they will restore the lawns or reinstall or replace any sidewalks.  

The company creates the fiber platform, that is open access. SiFi then sells wholesale access to companies such as AT&T, T-Mobile, cable companies and other service providers who then can offer fiber broadband to residents and businesses. Cities also can contract for  Smart City applications using the fiber for things such as traffic management systems. The company says they will be able to offer 1 Gigabit to 100 Gigabit data speeds.

“This is moving the city forward in terms of fiber accessibility for new and existing businesses and residents,” said Councilman Brian Kazy, chair of the Utilities Committee. 

Under the legislation, the Law Director is required to create encroachment permits and add provisions to protect and benefit the public interest. The permits shall be issued only when, in the opinion of the Law Director, SiFi has indemnified the City against any loss that may result from the encroachments that are permitted.