Mesa OKs deal with Google Fiber to expand high-speed internet access

PHOENIX – Mesa took another step toward closing its digital-access gap, approving licensing agreements with a handful of high-speed internet providers, including Google Fiber.

The Mesa City Council voted Monday to work with Google, SiFi, Ubiquity and Wyyerd to install fiber optic networks within the public right-of-way.

The East Valley city will become the first in Arizona to offer Google Fiber.

“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, ”Mayor John Giles said in a press release.

Google said it planned to start construction early next year.

Cox Communications and Lumen / Century Link already supply broadband internet service in the city.

Mesa said a survey showed 75% of residents have some form of landline broadband connection while 8% rely on their cellphone data to connect online.

Mesa sent out a national Requests for Information early this year to companies and by April began discussions with the companies that responded, the city said in public documents.

New Jersey-based SiFi described its $ 400 million project as “infrastructure… like no other,” in a press release Tuesday.

Plans are for all the cables to be buried using microtrenching, a less disruptive method of digging deep and narrow cuts into streets.

“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, ”Giles said.

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