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Mayor Mark Farrell Releases City Report Detailing City Cost-Savings and Benefits from Proposed Citywide Fiber Network

The new report shows the Fiber for San Francisco initiative can save taxpayer dollars and generate new revenue for the City

Mayor Mark Farrell today announced the release of a new City report detailing potential cost-savings and revenue generating opportunities from his proposed citywide fiber network that seeks to connect all of San Francisco to fast and affordable internet.

“Our citywide fiber network will not only eliminate the digital divide, but will also save precious taxpayer dollars and generate new revenue for the City,” said Mayor Mark Farrell. “I believe the internet should be treated like a utility - which means it should be affordable and ubiquitous for all of San Francisco’s residents and businesses.”

The report found that the City has an estimated $153 million in planned projects through the 2022 Fiscal Year that would require or benefit from the deployment of a gigabit speed network. These planned costs can be offset once the network is constructed.

Furthermore, the report finds that the network could generate $1.2 million in ongoing savings and avoided costs, as well as an unquantified amount of additional property tax and real estate transfer taxes for the City due to increased property valuations.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the Department of Public Health and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development all note potential benefits from having a citywide fiber network in place. The report finds these agencies can use the network for better traffic signal communication to manage congestion, new telemedicine opportunities and more reliable and affordable broadband opportunities for public housing residents and families. 

Additionally, the report finds that the deployment of a ubiquitous gigabit speed fiber network could stimulate the local economy and generate significant economic returns. Those benefits include higher property valuations, lower prices for broadband service, business development and job growth.

In addition, the report finds that the citywide fiber network creates the potential for a variety of revenue generating activities. The report mentions that the City could lease fiber out to private companies for wireless technologies or other enterprise uses to generate revenue. Additionally, the report cites the Stockholm fiber network as an example of a similar system that is generating revenues through the leasing of fiber.

The report also notes that broadband technology can enable the City to improve government services and their provision to the benefit of residents and businesses. The report cites numerous potential “smart cities” applications, such as monitoring of water treatment systems, real-time data on parking availability and energy monitoring systems to name a few.