Mesa City Council has approved license agreements with Google Fiber, SiFi, Ubiquity and Wyyerd, allowing for more high-speed internet options to bridge the digital divide. The agreements outline the process for the new providers to install their fiber optic network facilities within the City's rights of way. It has long been a priority of the City to bring additional network connectivity to all 264 thousand city premises and 2,470 street miles - especially since the pandemic heightened the need for fast, reliable and affordable internet service.
"Reliable high-speed internet is not a luxury - it's an essential utility like water or electricity. In the way the world operates today, no one can afford to be disconnected," said Mayor John Giles. "These partnerships are bringing us closer to our goals of getting fiber to every home and business, increasing affordable connectivity for residents and future-proofing our city."
Mesa already has widespread connectivity through Cox and Lumen. According to a City of Mesa household survey, 75% of Mesa residents currently have some form of landline broadband connection. An additional 8% of Mesa residents rely on their cell phone data to get online. Wanting to ensure that every Mesa resident and business has the opportunity to connect to the latest in internet technology, earlier this year, under Council guidance, Mesa sent out a national Request For Information (RFI) to learn more about companies that can install and operate fiber networks across Mesa. The agreements approved by Mesa City Council are the result of the robust response generated by the RFI.
"Those who lack connectivity are at a disadvantage. I am proud to have voted to bring more internet options to more places in Mesa and help remove connectivity barriers in our City," said District 5 Councilmember and National League of Cities Information Technology and Communications Committee member David Luna. "A connected city is a thriving city and fiber optic is the gold standard for high-speed internet."
Mesa has long been a champion of innovation and widespread connectivity. In addition to bringing fiber, the City has started expanding the current WiFi network in downtown to cover an additional nine square miles, City parks, pools and libraries. Mesa is also deploying a Citizen Broadband Radio System (CBRS) network in underserved areas of the City.
"It's been a priority to increase connectivity throughout the City. I am proud of the many initiatives and innovative internet access solutions Mesa is implementing to propel the City into the future," added Mayor Giles.
The vote by Councilmembers authorizes Google Fiber, SiFi, Ubiquity and Wyyerd to begin the permitting process with the City of Mesa.