A $300M Fiber Optic Project will Bring High-speed Internet to Every Home and Business in Riverside, CA

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Jun 15, 2022


SiFi Networks just received approval to construct a 1,690-mile fiber infrastructure for $300 million, which will be paid for by the company. By 2024, fiber optic cables delivering high-speed internet may run through every home and business in the Inland Empire’s largest city. 

We construct citywide networks passing every home and business.  We donโ€™t redline or cherry-pick we construct through every street regardless of demographics, enabling every household with the opportunity to connect to the network.

SiFi Networks

SiFi Project | Providing Access to High-Speed Internet

SiFi Networks is implementing comparable systems in Fullerton, Placentia, and Simi Valley, with ambitions to expand its Southern California portfolio to Cathedral City and Oceanside, according to George Khalil, Riverside’s chief innovation officer.

Riverside authorities took the initiative as a method to boost economic growth in a city that hopes to be a green technology hub and to bridge the “digital gap” between affluent communities with ample internet connection and lower-income ones with limited or no access. According to Khalil, just 39 percent of Riverside houses have access to high-speed fiber currently.

The SiFi project would construct an extensive backbone network that will service the city and provide connectivity to all 106,000 parcels. The network will deliver internet speeds of up to 10 gigabits to families and 100 gigabits to enterprises, which is much faster than the city’s current greatest commonly available rates.

“Residents would have the option to engage in that new infrastructure if they so choose, or to keep the present services that they have if they are satisfied,”

George Khalil, Riverside’s Chief Innovation Officer
Source: SiFi Networks

According to a municipal study, SiFi is a wholesaler that would create the network, control and run it, and sell access to the internet service providers. These companies would then utilize the connections to provide internet access to homes and other clients. SiFi also promises to subsidize service rates for 12% of houses, offering low-income families a reprieve on internet fees. The subsidies would be worth $133 million during the first 30 years of the scheme.

The agreement allows SiFi to run the network for 90 years, with a 30-year initial term and two 30-year extensions available. The deal intends for the system to be 95 percent complete by four years. The construction will begin in the first quarter of 2023 and end in late 2024.

High-Speed Internet Helping Businesses in the County

High-speed connections may help businesses grow because financial institutions and healthcare providers keep vast databases and need to transport significant volumes of data quickly.

Ensuring Less Harm to The Streets During Construction

SiFi now has access to municipal highways. The installation entails drilling 2-inch-wide, 12-inch-deep holes in roadways in front of residences, close to curbs and walkways.

Damage to the streets should be modest, according to Khalil, because the holes will be small. Nonetheless, the arrangement asks for a $2 million payment in an escrow account to cover any possible harm, he added. The development process would run at a fast speed, roughly 2,500 feet each day, causing little disruptions for homeowners, he said.

Hiring People From The County

City officials in Placentia were watching workers install fiber cables. SiFi President Scott Bradshaw stated that the business intends to recruit 100 people from the Riverside region to assist a seasoned team in constructing the system. Still, he would not commit to that number. There’s so much talent in this region. 

The City of Riverside Fosters Innovation and gets Acknowledged

It was in May this year that Startempire Wire reported about The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) honoring Riversideโ€™s PACT project with the 2022 Sustainability Award. The City of Riverside PACT is a four-part strategy to create a safer, healthier, and more sustainable transportation network.

The fiber optic project will further enhance the city’s potential to offer innovative citizen services and provide startups and corporations to offer innovative services.


  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.


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