Kenosha, Wisconsin is probably not a place that immediately springs to mind when you think about American cities, but now the city on the shore of Lake Michigan has become the sixth US city to get open access, city wide, fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) rollout due to a partnership between infrastructure investor PATRIZIA and privately owned telecom company, SiFi Networks.
Originally named Kenozia, or “place of the Pike” by Native Americans, Kenosha is today best know as corporate HQ of Snap-on Tools and underwear company Jockey International. Beyond that it’s a tourist town and major hub for Amazon.
It is now the sixth city in the US and the largest investment yet from PATRIZIA’s Smart Cities Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) bringing their total investment in FiberCity® networks to more than EUR 600 million.
Kenosha has a population of roughly 100,000 people so the scheme which will provide 40,000 residents and businesses with 10 gigabit per second internet via 700 miles of fibre and 56 cabinets is reaching a significant proportion of the population. The network is expected to be completed by November 2025.
Nearly half the population of Kenosha are under 35 years of age, so high-speed internet is seen as vital for supporting future jobs and making it a smart city of the future.
Ben Bawtree-Jobson, Chief Executive at SiFi Networks, which counts PATRIZIA as a shareholder, said: “SiFi Networks have been busy at work in Kenosha for months and we are delighted with the experience to date and the opportunity to bring our FiberCity® solution to residents and businesses in the city.”
Phoebe Smith, Senior Director at PATRIZIA Infrastructure, said: “Having already invested in four cities in California and one in Massachusetts, we are firmly committed to delivering open access, high-speed networks to millions of people across America. With the need to digitalise our economies only accelerating, enabling the development of smarter cities through innovative digital infrastructure is absolutely essential if we are to meet the future demands of our communities.”
Californian cities already covered by the investments include Fullerton, Placentia, Simi Valley and Rancho Cordova, totalling more than 150,000 units currently under construction, whilst Salem in Massachusetts is the first East Coast investment. Amongst future plans, SiFi are inviting expressions of interest for proposed 172,000 units for Arlington in Texas.
German PATRIZIA was founded in the Bavarian city of Augsburg and established their Smart Cities Infrastructure Fund (SCIF) in November 2018. SCIF is managed by PATRIZIA and funded by Dutch pension fund manager APG. It invests in smart city infrastructure solutions, allowing cities to more efficiently allocate resources and improve the lived environment. As well as its investment in the United States, it previously made investments in Europe, creating a EUR 180 million portfolio of Italian smart streetlighting companies.
Shawn Parker, Vice President Government Affairs & Business Development at SiFi Networks will be speaking at Connected America, our new event at the Irving Convention Center, Dallas on March 28-29, 2023. Find out more at www.totaltele.com/connectedamerica