Could San Leandro become the next destination for high-tech firms?
That's the hope following the City Council's unanimous approval Monday night of a private businessman's plan to run an 11 mile loop of fiber optic cable through underground conduit owned by the city.
Patrick Kennedy of the told council members that private funds would cover the $2 million to $3 million cost of the project. He has said previously that the effort would take several months to complete.
When it is finished, high-speed Internet access will be available along major city arteries (see map, right). Kennedy hopes to attract high-tech firms to locate near the fiber highway.
The agreement lasts 20 years with the possibility of an extension for up to another 20 years.
"This is a very, very exciting project," City Councilwoman Joyce Starosciak. "The sooner we get this going the sooner we can ask more businesses to come to San Leandro."
Jeff Kay, a business development analyst on the city staff, said the city would not bear any costs for the project. Nor would it get any revenues for at least 10 years. But it would get a siginificant amount of fiber optic capacity to use in any way it deems fit.
Officials at the meeting said the fiber ring would put San Leandro in the select company of other municipalities like Santa Clara and Palo Alto that have also made high speed broadband capacity available.
Chamber of Commerce President Dave Johnson said the fiber loop positioned the city to take advantage of the business opportunities spelled out in a recent .
"With this service we can go out and say San Leandro is a great place to do business," Johnson said.