City of San Leandro Launches RFP for Fiber Optics Master Plan
On March 22nd, the City of San Leandro posted a Request for Proposal to engage with an experienced “Smart City” consultant to assist in development of a Fiber Optic Master Plan. Click here to view the posted RFP.
The cooperative License Agreement between the City and San Leandro Dark Fiber, executed in 2011 and updated in 2015, provided the City of San Leandro with ownership of a significant number of fiber strands. What is the significance of these fiber strands? A fiber-optic cable is made up of incredibly thin strands of glass or plastic known as optical fibers; one cable can have as few as two strands or as many as several hundred. Each strand is less than a tenth as thick as a human hair and can carry something like 25,000 telephone calls, so an entire fiber-optic cable can easily carry several million calls.
There are no restrictions on the City’s use of the 30 strands; to date, the City Council has approved the use of only 4 strands, which are leased to the San Leandro Unified School District (“SLUSD”) for $1/annually. These fiber strands provide the fast connection to the internet needed to support the linkage of each SLUSD site to the Lit San Leandro network, a construction project that was completed and launched in 2016.
Today, the network has expanded from its original 10.5 mile footprint to almost 20 miles. The City’s ownership of fiber optic strands in the expanded network has increased to 72 strands, with use of the additional 42 strands limited to City and community benefit purposes. The question is — how should the City put these fiber assets to use?
The City has made much progress in using the fiber optic loop to spur economic development, education and public wi-fi opportunities. Today, there are civic opportunities for the use of gigabit technology that did not exist five years ago. The advent of “Smart City” technologies provide new opportunities for cities, including:
- increased civic engagement through new web-based platforms (like the new My SL – Mobile 311 app)
- improved government services through cost reduction, improved response times and creation of new revenue streams through innovative use of City assets;
- expansion of City’s public Wi-Fi network;
- Fiber to the Home
- How can the City better utilize its available fiber optics capacity within both the public and privately owned networks?
- Where and how should the City expand its fiber optics network?
- What funding opportunities exist for future expansion?
- What options are available for the City to monetize its fiber optics assets?
The RFP application closes on April 28th. Following the selection of a consultant, research and development regarding the Plan will include a number of public meetings to engage with the San Leandro community. These public meetings will lead with educating the participants regarding the opportunities and challenges of developing a Smart City strategy; and follow with discussions to understand community priorities. Following the public process, the draft Fiber Optic Master Plan will be presented to the City Council for adoption.
Stay tuned to San Leandro Next for further developments!