Odessa to allow broadband infrastructure installation throughout city

The city hopes the $100M+ project creates greater internet access for underserved communities.
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 5:48 AM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - The Odessa City Council approved a motion Tuesday night to allow broadband infrastructure installation along city roads, a venture worth more than $100 million.

“I just think it’s terrific for the City of Odessa,” Councilman Steven P. Thompson said at the meeting.

“The infrastructure that’s being put in place will be put in a conduit and literally run across every address in our entire community,” said Odessa City Manager Michael Marrero.

The motion gives SiFi Networks, a company based out of offices in New Jersey, California, and London, the Council’s blessing to install the equipment. The process is expected to take 3-5 years.

“The beauty of this is it won’t cost the city of Odessa anything,” Marrero said. “As a matter of fact, the city would generate revenue by giving them access to our right-of-way.”

“Right-of-way” probably conjures up images of stop signs and roads. This isn’t any different. It just allows for the installation of broadband technologies along the same roadsides where public utilities, like gas and phone lines, already run.

The installation means you’ll probably notice alleyways and roadsides being dug up over the next few years to lay cable.

And while accessing the internet eventually provided will not be free, the city hopes the greatest beneficiary of the incoming setup will be underserved communities.

“It’s moving us into the 21st, 22nd century,” Thompson said.