Digital Divide

The Divide: How SiFi Networks tackles digital inequity with open access 'FiberCities'

This episode features Shawn Parker, vice president of government affairs at SiFi Networks, which has been building and operating open access fiber networks for about a decade, with 32 "FiberCities" currently in development across the US. The privately funded company last year announced Dutch firm APG Group would acquire a 16.7% direct stake in SiFi through a $500 million investment.

SiFi recently announced its latest fiber build in Saratoga Springs, New York. We talk more about that specific project and other cities where it's building out, how the SiFi Networks FiberCities model is helping increase competition and reach lower-income neighborhoods – and more.

Here are just a few topics discussed on this episode:

  • Background on SiFi Networks and where it's active (1:00)
  • Why SiFi has several FiberCities in California (2:35)
  • How SiFi's open access, wholesale model helps ISPs reach low-income areas (4:55)
  • How many ISPs is ideal for one network? (6:40)
  • What SiFi looks for when choosing cities to build fiber (8:05)
  • How SiFi's privately subsidized "FiberCity Aid" program works (10:00)
  • Fiber build challenges and why SiFi uses micro-trenching (12:25)
  • SiFi's new $32 million fiber build in Saratoga Springs, New York (16:25)

Related stories and links:

Nicole Ferraro, editor, Light Reading, and host of "​​The Divide" podcast.

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