What is Fiber Broadband?

How can Redding residents benefit from powerful connectivity at home, school, and work?

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The City of Redding has taken steps to become an innovative, forward-thinking city. Being a Smart City is more than adding technology, it’s being responsive to the needs of the community, it’s understanding the challenges and creatively seeking solutions, and it’s taking steps to make the city safe, healthy, and economically viable.

Public Safety is a priority for the City Council and for City staff. Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters work incredibly hard, and smart technology can help them respond quicker and work more efficiently. Evaluating the needs of public safety staff and melding that with innovative technological solutions is what being a Smart City is all about. Redding is considering a number of smart solutions to the challenges faced in the community. While some are technologically based, many other projects are just creative solutions to age-old problems, and we need your help.

Community input is an integral part of some of the projects being considered. Bookmark this page, and tell your friends, family, and neighbors. Refer back to this page often to find updates on the projects that matter most. And then, talk to us and tell us your thoughts. The City wants to hear from you. What do you want to see? What are you interested in this beautiful City becoming? Fill out the surveys as they are released and encourage others to do the same. Let’s work together to make smart solutions for Redding.

Should Redding Invest in a Fiber Network Project?

The City of Redding is exploring fiber networking systems. The consulting firm Entry Point has been hired to do a Master Broadband Plan to investigate the interest and feasibility of building a city-wide fiber network. The network could be used solely by the municipality and other public agencies, or it could be open for the entire community’s use. In order to make that decision, many factors must be weighed including cost, time, interest (residential vs. business), and return on investment. Building a fiber network is a massive undertaking, and it can have some very positive benefits. Super-fast internet service is a draw for various industries and the general public. It would be the base layer of a network that could allow police officers to work more efficiently and accurately, thereby making the streets and community safer. We invite your input as you read more about this project.

Help the City decide!

What is Fiber Broadband?

Fiber, or fiber optic line, is actually a thin strand of glass that is stretched to great length and can conduct light similar to the way a wire conducts energy.

The light that flows through the glass fiber carries data. A powerful advantage to fiber is that information carried on the fiber travels at the speed of light—making fiber the fastest available method for data delivery.

Many high speed Internet networks operate on copper wire infrastructure. The copper infrastructure limits the speed and amount of information that can be transferred. Fiber connections may have the ability to reach speeds 30 times faster than your current connection, for uploads and downloads.

Fiber broadband infrastructure provides flexibility to choose and change your Internet Provider, keeping costs low and competitive for all. This idea of “open access” is one the City is considering alongside the installation of a city-wide fiber network.

How fast is fiber broadband?

FAST. Not just fast - the fastest there is, by far. Here is a current comparison of recently tested maximum transmission speeds (how fast they've tested each technology in a lab):

- Copper max speed: 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps)

- 5G wireless max speed: 20 Gbps (20,000 Mbps)

- Fiber max speed: 35 Tbps (35,000,000 Mbps)

[Nearly 2,000 x Faster than 5G]

Even though these figures are lab speeds (not real world speeds), fiber is currently the fastest technology there is and according to industry experts will be the fastest for a long time.

Fiber broadband is nearly 2,000 x faster than 5G, making it the fastest technology currently available and according to industry experts the fastest there will be for a long time.

What if something better than fiber comes along in 5 or 10 years?

It's logical to worry that the rapid evolution of technologies will make an investment in fiber obsolete. Fiber is unique because it is so resistant to displacement by another technology. The current capacity of fiber is far beyond demand and industry experts cannot see the horizon for which demand will outpace the capacity of fiber.

The entire world has invested in fiber optics as the new backbone of communications. Businesses and municipalities alike have laid fiber and will continue to lay fiber. The chances of something better replacing fiber in the next 50 years are close to zero.

The entire world has invested in fiber optics as the new backbone of communications. Businesses and municipalities alike have laid fiber and will continue to lay fiber. The chances of something better replacing fiber in the next 50 years are close to zero.

Why is Redding looking into Fiber?

Residents in the City of Redding have a few options for internet connectivity and the demands of entrepreneurs, young families, students, and those in the medical, educational, and financial markets has precipitated a desire for faster more reliable internet service. While there is an option to purchase Gig (1000 megabit per second) service, it can be costly for the average homeowner, and oftentimes the service residents want to receive varies from what they actually receive.

Fiber provides a unique opportunity for the City to build upon. Crafting an environment to foster an efficient workforce is one of many steps a city can take in revitalizing a community. City-wide fiber networking could be the feature that sets Redding apart and makes the jewel of the North State a shining beacon. A well-formed fiber network contributes to economic vitality, attracts new business, and increases productivity. It also helps to foster a vibrant business community, a healthy workforce, and a well-connected City.

The City of Redding, like its residents, currently contracts through a telecommunications company to receive connectivity, particularly what is called dark fiber or I-Net access. This dark fiber is a dedicated physical private network that connects City infrastructure with other City infrastructure. Dark fiber is safe and fast, which makes it an integral part of City functionality. The City is not the only entity that utilizes I-Net. Schools systems, hospitals, other municipal governments, and private business rely on the use of various forms of I-Net to move information quickly, securely, and efficiently from one entity to another.

Due to changes in regulation of the telecommunications industry on a federal and state level, telecommunications companies can and will begin charging these entities, including the City, for the use of the network that currently provides this I-Net service, even though it was previously provided at little to no cost. The costly legislative changes are driving many municipalities to consider owning their own infrastructure and provide better more competitive service to their communities. Much needed expansion and upgrades of infrastructure would allow the City, local schools, hospitals, and businesses that routinely transmit secure and/or large amounts of data, to do so without delay.

Redding residents currently have few options for internet connectivity resulting in expensive services that may not deliver what is expected or promised.

What does Open Access mean?

In the course of this project, even as the community is polled on interest of pursuing city-wide fiber, you might hear the term “open-access.” In Open Access networks, the same physical network infrastructure is utilized by multiple providers and delivering services to subscribers.

In other words, the same fiber network that delivers Spectrum to one customer, could deliver a different ISP to their neighbor. The option of having multiple ISPs to choose from helps to increase competition and drive down cost of service.

One single fiber network could provide an option for residents and businesses to choose whichever provider they are most comfortable with to operate their internet service. Regardless of the provider, all users would receive the same fast service, as it would all be connected through the same physical infrastructure.

Help The City Decide!

Take this short survey and let us know about what you think about your current internet services.

Are you interested in fiber?

Provide your name, email, and address below. As interested community members sign up, the heat map will indicate areas of interest.