PALMDALE — The City Council will have a special report at tonight’s meeting regarding a citywide fiber optic network for residential and commercial gig speed Internet.
The city released a Request for Proposal in July for a partnership with the city, for the implementation of 5G wireless services. The city got a proposal back for services that are complementary to 5G, but not quite 5G. The proposal still fits within the realm of the request for proposal.
“A private entity wants to partner with the city to invest approximately $160 million in the city to roll out fiber, especially in neighborhoods that don’t have access to fiber,” Public Works Director Chuck Hefferman said Monday.
Currently, approximately 30% of Palmdale businesses and 5% of residents have access to fiber.
“This would make it accessible to practically everyone in the City of Palmdale,” Hefferman said. “This is a great way to bridge the digital divide in the city and to help provide data access to those who really need it, especially students who are learning from home, etc.”
The unnamed company is currently working with five cities in California and several cites on the East Coast.
“It really encourages the gig economy, it encourages the work from home,” Mayor Steve Hofbauer said.
Palmdale will work with the three school districts in the city to gather all resources to apply for grants that will subsidize the cost of Internet in the home so low-income families can afford it.
“This is going to benefit the West side immensely because we don’t have any fiber on the West side,” Hofbauer said. “…This is going to make Internet access much more competitive between the providers out there.”
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Residents can watch on Spectrum local access Channel 27 or on the city’s website at cityofpalmdale.org