Saturday, September 10, 2016

Gigabit Fiber Connectivity to Homes in San Leandro: An Opportunity Lost



This week, I drove by the street I used to live on Bridge Road. It's behind Bancroft Middle School. 

A work crew for PG&E was digging a trench for laying new gas piping. It's a part of a project that has been ongoing for several months. Apparently the old gas lines have deteriorated and must be replaced for all homes along several streets.

What is not happening at the same time is the laying of conduit to connect households to Lit San Leandro, the City's ultra high speed internet. 
Lit San Leandro has been a game changer for San Leandro but it's impact will not be nearly as great as it could be if it is not extended to our residential neighborhoods. The major challenge is cost. It's very expensive to dig up streets. The fiber for Lit San Leandro has only been installed in business areas because conduit already had been laid in those areas to monitor traffic on our major streets by City engineering staff.

In 2012, the City Council adopted a San Leandro Commercial Broadband Strategy that called for a comprehensive open trench policy in San Leandro, meaning that "the goal of placing conduit [should be established] any time a street or right of way is dug into should be established." The Strategy further stated, "Conduit could be installed by telecommunications service providers or the City. The cost of doing so is relatively low, involving staff time and inexpensive materials. Similarly, information regarding construction or upgrading of wireless facilities should be shared widely to encourage joint use."  

I am very disappointed that the City has squandered a golden opportunity to bring gigabit fiber connectivity to large number of residents at a minor cost.

I also discussed this issue in an earlier blog post.

Note, I still live in San Leandro but now on Joaquin Avenue.

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