TOWN OF EAST HARTFORD AND SIFI NETWORKS OFFICIALLY LAUNCH $42 MILLION EAST HARTFORD FIBERCITY® PROJECT
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
A 10 Gbps (Gigabits per second) Enabled Open Access Fiber Network Passing Every Home and Business – The Fastest Internet Speeds Available in the U.S.
State and Federal Leaders Join Mayor Walsh to Kick Off First All-Fiber, First Open-Access Network in Connecticut
(East Hartford, CT—May 17, 2022) Today, at a press conference attended by officials from state, federal and local government, Michael P. Walsh, Mayor of the Town of East Hartford, and Geoff Spickler, Vice President of Community Relations, SiFi Networks, officially launched the East Hartford FiberCity® project, a revolutionary infrastructure project to bring a fast, affordable, and reliable all-fiber Internet network to every home, business, and institution in East Hartford.
The $42 million project is privately funded and will provide access to all of East Hartford’s approximately 19,046 households, 4,649 businesses, and institutions with speeds up to 10 Gbps, the fastest residential speeds available in the United States. Notably, the East Hartford FiberCity® project will be an Open Access network, a successful model in other regions of the U.S. and across Europe. Open Access allows fiber infrastructure to be shared by multiple service providers, whether that be Internet, wireless, or other services, thereby delivering the fastest speeds at the most competitive prices to the consumer. Like all SiFi Networks’ fiber builds in the U.S., the East Hartford FiberCity® project will be constructed with no cost or risk to taxpayers.
“Introducing a 100% in-the-ground fiber network to East Hartford will be a game changer for economic development,” said Mayor Walsh. “It will give us the fastest Internet in the nation and bridge the digital divide, providing equitable access to all of East Hartford. This is good for business, this is good for education, and this is good for the community.”
Spickler remarked: “As we have seen throughout the nation during the last few years, Internet for work and school is a necessity, and East Hartford is taking the lead in Connecticut with the FiberCity® project. With the groundbreaking and launch of this project, East Hartford FiberCity® will serve as a major economic driver for the town and the greater Hartford region, enhancing business development and bridging the digital divide for all residents. I’m also very happy to announce that Flume Internet will be the first Internet service provider on the network. The network will also enable East Hartford to offer Smart City services like traffic monitoring, greater public safety connection, public WiFi, water leak detection, and much more, for a more efficient way of governing.”
“Flume is proud to be working with SiFi Networks, the Town of East Hartford, and all of partners to provide top quality Internet service to the residents and businesses of East Hartford,” said Prashanth Vijay, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Flume Internet. We’re excited to get underway and help meet the town’s high speed Internet needs well into the future.”
The public is encouraged to arrange for service with Flume by visiting https://www.flumeinternet.com/east-hartford.
“The pandemic has exposed the digital divide within our state’s communities, and we cannot allow Connecticut residents to be left behind. We now live in a world where access to an affordable, reliable Internet connection is no longer a luxury, but a necessity,” said Connecticut Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz. “The Town of East Hartford now serves as a leader by bringing the first Open Access network to Connecticut residents, with some of the fastest Internet speeds in the nation. Accessible high-speed broadband will ensure that every child, student, adult or senior citizen can participate in our new digital world.”
“This project is an important and innovative investment for East Hartford,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. “The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light just how necessary a reliable and fast Internet connection is for Connecticut families to run their businesses, complete their schoolwork and connect with loved ones. East Hartford FiberCity® will not only provide consumers with the fastest Internet in the nation, but also the ability to choose which Internet providers they want to do business with, boosting competition and enhancing consumer choice,” he added.
“Access to the Internet is a necessity for residents of all ages,” said U.S. Rep. John B. Larson (1st Congressional District – CT). “In Congress, we passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to close the digital divide through investments in broadband and programs to lower Internet costs. I am proud to see my hometown of East Hartford lead the way here in Connecticut by developing the first Open Access network in the state, which will bring access to every home and business in town.”
Doug Casey, Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission for Educational Technology said: “Long before COVID, teaching and learning have depended on 24/7 technology access. Initiatives like East Hartford FiberCity® help guarantee that students have an equal opportunity to learn outside of school, that access to high-speed Internet becomes a gateway to the learning tools and opportunities that break down barriers of opportunity. We are working hard to bridge the digital divide in Connecticut, and this partnership represents an innovative approach to providing affordable choices for learners of all ages in our state.
The concept of East Hartford FiberCity® began several years ago when its leaders issued a Request for Proposal to create a town-wide network with the caveat that it could not afford to pay for it.
Ben Bawtree-Jobson, CEO of SiFi Networks shared: “We were very happy to make the long-term investment in East Hartford because we have witnessed the importance of available, affordable broadband and the numerous positive economic drivers that such a network provides. A similar project in Chattanooga, TN has realized billions of dollars in new revenue. We’ve also learned that businesses, both established and new, want access to the fastest speeds and connectivity available. Additionally, they want access to the talent pool that comes with it and they expect their municipal leaders to support their success. This project checks all those boxes.”
Residents and businesses will have the opportunity to find out more about the East Hartford FiberCity® project, and meet Flume Internet and the FiberCity® team at the weekly Eat & Greet Food Truck events which will begin shortly. There, members of the community can ask questions about the construction of the network and the service they can expect to receive, all while enjoying some delicious local food courtesy of SiFi Networks. Additionally, information on construction and events can be accessed by following East Hartford FiberCity® on social channels and by visiting www.easthartfordfibercity.com.
Construction on the East Hartford FiberCity® project began this month and will be phased in by neighborhood, with town-wide completion expected in 2024. East Hartford FiberCity® will be the first Open Access and all-fiber network in Connecticut that is open to residential customers.
SiFi Networks’ construction partner Lat Long Infrastructure (LLI) will build citywide enabling every home and business to connect with superfast fiber Internet. East Hartford FiberCity® and LLI will create dozens of new local jobs throughout the two year buildout and recruitment for the workforce is ongoing and those interested in employment can email email@example.com.