News | March 4, 2024

Mayor Malik Announces Partnership With SiFi Networks For Citywide Broadband Access

Today, Akron Mayor Shammas Malik is announcing a major step towards providing fiber internet access to every resident and business throughout the City of Akron by 2030. In a partnership with SiFi Networks, a national fiber network developer, Akron will provide SiFi with access to the right of ways with a goal of creating a citywide fiber optic network and affordable, high-quality internet access for all residents.

SiFi Networks plans to invest over $200M to install, maintain and operate an underground fiber optic network throughout Akron at no cost to the city, enabling citywide digitization while supporting economic growth. In addition, SiFi has agreed to reimburse the City of Akron for costs associated with expediting review of permits during the project.

“In 2024, it is essential that every person in Akron has access to high-speed, affordable internet,” said Mayor Malik. “Through this partnership with SiFi, every resident and business in Akron will have access to fiber internet, and SiFi has agreed to work with us to subsidize rates. I’d like to thank all of the City staff who have put in many hours over the last year vetting this partnership in order to move the needle on providing internet access for our residents.”

SiFi Networks is a fiber network developer who wholesales access to their best in class, open access, fiber network to qualifying service providers. SiFi has a national footprint whose client base includes over 40 cities across twelve states. In recent months, SiFi also reached an agreement with the City of Cleveland to provide their citizens with a similar network.

As part of their FiberCity Aid program that supports disadvantaged families, SiFi has agreed to deliver a 1gbps service to a percentage of Akron residents at a subsidized rate. Akron is committed to supporting this project to deliver high speed internet to Akron residents at the lowest possible cost.

As the City of Akron moves forward with the SiFi partnership, the City continues to explore additional partnerships, including Summit Connects, through which Summit County is building a public safety fiber ring connecting all 31 communities across the county, with the opportunity for residential and commercial internet service.

Source: The City of Akron