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Palo Alto Fiber Blog Series: What’s New & What’s Next!

Share Your Internet Service Preferences and Demonstrate Support Through a New Deposit Program

The City of Palo Alto is exploring providing high-speed, broadband internet services directly to your home and business as part of the Palo Alto Fiber effort. Two new engagement efforts are currently underway and available to residents and businesses. Take a market survey sharing your internet preferences that will help inform decision-making. Demonstrate your support for locally controlled internet services by submitting a deposit. Read on in this blog to learn more about the market research survey, new deposit program, and gain answers to recent community questions.

Market Research Survey- Open Now

On June 23, the City launched an internet services market research survey that was sent to all email addresses on file and associated with a City of Palo Alto Utilities residential and business account. Since that time, we’ve seen an amazing response from Palo Alto residents. Thank you for your input!

The survey invitation from the City’s fiber consultant Magellan Advisors was sent through SurveyGizmo. The market research survey seeks to learn more about residential and business internet preferences and service needs. Input gained from the survey will help define service details like pricing and help inform the City Council decision-making process as they determine next steps.

This survey is not a typical community feedback survey that the City offers as a means to obtain input on a specific project. Rather, the market research survey seeks to gain information about internet preferences and service needs. The process of conducting a market research survey inherently differs from a community input survey since the type of data the City seeks is very specific to determining options and preferences.

A common question received about the survey is the internet offer questions contained in the survey. By providing an objective opportunity for residents and businesses to choose their ideal service options, the results share guidance on what Palo Altans want and need. Each survey is unique, and this section changes for each survey respondent — no two surveys are necessarily the same.

The survey will be available tentatively through the end of July to gain as much community responses as possible. Take the residential survey here. If you own a business in Palo Alto, take the business survey here. If you’d like to provide broader input and feedback about the survey or Palo Alto Fiber effort, email fiber@cityofpaloalto.org.

Demonstrate Your Support by Submitting a Deposit

Strong community interest is an important factor for consideration as the City explores locally controlled internet services. By submitting a $50 deposit, you’re demonstrating your household’s support for Palo Alto Fiber, and if your neighbors do the same, that shows a neighborhood-wide demonstration of support. The new deposit program is one measure of many being used to design the fiber build out.

As with any City project, community input is essential to ensuring the City Council knows where the community stands. The deposit program has seen positive results so far with 498 deposits to date.

To submit a deposit, go here, and you will be prompted to enter your street address. You will need to register an account and basic contact information is requested to ensure accuracy of deposit information. Go here to get started and don’t forget to share with your neighbors on the Fiber Hub that you submitted a deposit.

Track Support from Neighbors Gained So Far

Wondering how many of your neighbors have submitted a deposit? Check out the Fiber Hub to see where your neighborhood stands! We’ve seen strong support so far, so thank you and we appreciate you sharing this program with your neighbors and community networks.

Community Questions

In addition to previous questions received, below are more frequently asked questions about the fiber internet services, the market survey, and deposit program.

Would Palo Alto Fiber be another option to other companies who provide fiber broadband services?

Yes. While fiber is not available to all Palo Alto residents and businesses today and existing providers have some fiber, the majority of Palo Alto does not have access. The City’s goal is to ensure all of its residents and businesses have equal and affordable access to fiber. The City believes that providing another high-speed, broadband fiber service is a community benefit. Public investment in broadband infrastructure creates choice that improves services to the community and keeps costs down for reliable high-speed internet. If the fiber internet services project is approved by the City Council, other internet service companies would still be able to provide internet to the City.

If the Palo Alto Fiber internet services project approved by City Council, what will the monthly price be and are there promotional pricing?

The market research survey is one of the mechanisms being used to determine servicing options like pricing and to better understand the monthly costs expected by the community. It is expected that the monthly price will be comparable, if not better than other options on the market. Having locally controlled internet services ensures that pricing remains transparent and consistent. Whereas other companies may entice its customers to sign up with them for low monthly costs then increase the costs after the promotional period is complete, the expectation for this City-controlled internet service is there would be one cost, no hidden fees, and complete transparency.

I rent my home, would I be able to receive fiber internet services?

Yes! If the City Council approves the project, the City intends to provide fiber internet services to all Palo Alto homes and businesses including condos, apartment buildings, and single-family homes.

If you pay for your internet services as part of your utilities to the landlord or management company, they will need to sign up the building for fiber internet services. Many condos and apartment buildings manage their tenant’s internet services in this manner. You are encouraged to connect with City staff about your situation so that in the event the City Council approves the fiber internet project to go to construction, we may be able to connect with multi-unit dwelling, condominium, HOA managers and management companies to inform them about options. Email fiber@cityofpaloalto.org.

Other blogs in the Palo Alto Fiber Blog Series share more frequently asked questions received about the fiber internet services effort.

Timeline and Next Steps

The market survey will be open tentatively through July 2022 to allow time to gain as many responses as possible. Magellan Advisors and City staff teams will compile the survey results and analyze the data. Tentatively scheduled for September, the City Council and Utilities Advisory Commission will host a joint study session to review the survey results, deposit program, and other information presented about this effort. The City Council will consider next steps later in 2022.

Taking the survey, submitting a deposit, sharing your support to staff via email, or pinning your support on the Fiber Hub are great ways to be involved. Other ways to get involved in this effort include emailing fiber@cityofpaloalto.org if you are interested in being an Fiber Ambassador and stay in the know about Palo Alto Fiber by signing up for the City’s digital newsletter here. An Ambassador for the Palo Alto Fiber project simply refers to a person who wants to take an active role in supporting, promoting, and encouraging other community members to learn about, get involved, and advocate for full Palo Alto Fiber implementation. If you’re interested in getting further involved as an Ambassador, email staff to receive more resources.

Other Online Resources

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