Oxnard, California, Selects Team to Build High-Speed Fiber Optic Network

July 11, 2018
oxnard ca fiber network

The City of Oxnard, California has announced its selection of Magellan Advisors and Iteris Inc. to assist in creating a city-wide Fiber Master Plan for building a high-speed fiber optic network. In sharing news, Oxnard officials said one of the main goals of leveraging Oxnard’s current fiber assets to become a “Tech” city and “Gigabit” city.

“This is a crucial pathway to economic development and the ability to attract advanced businesses that offer high-paying jobs in the City of Oxnard,” said Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn. He added, “Access to high-speed Internet and data networks will also give existing businesses the tools they need to expand.” 

“This network will be the foundational infrastructure investment for the city that will provide high-speed Internet services for businesses and residents, as well as countless modern smart city initiatives,” said Oxnard Information Technology Director Keith Brooks. The network is expected to generate a return on investment and eventually contribute to the city’s general fund. In addition to economic growth, the city is hoping the new fiber-optic network will also produce educational and social benefits. It currently maintains a fiber optic network that spans more than 35 miles throughout the city, and is used to connect traffic signals, city facilities, and internal city services.

In detailing the services to be provided by the selected partners, the news release noted that Magellan consultant will assess the existing broadband market and perform a competitive analysis to gather a clear and true understanding of broadband supply and demand in Oxnard. The Iteris team will work cooperatively with Magellan and Oxnard leadership to provide a thorough inventory of the city's current assets, giving Oxnard a valuable understanding of which can be used to expand broadband in the city. The Magellan team will further analyze data from the market assessment, inventory analysis and engagement with city internal departments, and local stakeholders, to provide a business model and financial analysis. A conceptual network design will be developed by Magellans's design engineers that, combined with the background analysis and financial plan, will provide the city with a roadmap for building a broadband network for Smart City, business and economic development and the needs of its citizens and residents.

City officials reinforced their understanding that the ability of a city to be competitive increasingly depends on the technologies it offers, in news announcing the selection of Magellan and Iteris Inc., and in the original Request for Proposals (RFP), issued in 2017. In it, the city wrote, “The latest technology developments, including Smart City initiatives, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things, demand high-powered connections from both home and office, and citywide fiber-optic will enable Oxnard to deploy these new apps, such as public Wi-Fi, and compete with neighboring communities.” The RFP for the Fiber Master Plan was created after leadership realized that access to affordable and reliable citywide high-speed fiber-optic broadband would be crucial to economic development.

In their attempt to stay competitive, Oxnard officials did their smart city homework in seeing that future applications demand higher capacity infrastructure. The city has existing fiber as a result of a previous deployment to update transportation with California’s Intelligent Traffic System (ITS) in 2013. Three years later, they added more traffic signals, three municipal buildings, CCTV cameras, and a field gigabit hub. The Fiber Master Plan will build off existing assets to improve economic development and pursue other “social benefits.” Oxnard wants to install public Wi-Fi, adopt Smart City applications, and explore ways to bridge the digital divide. The city is also looking to reduce telecommunications costs by eliminating leased lines with their own fiber network.

Overview of Oxnard

Situated along the coast of southern California, Oxnard – the largest city in Ventura County – is located 60 miles northwest of downtown Los Angles. Approximately 204,000 people live in the city, home of many famous musicians and sports figures and, as such, is considered one of the wealthiest areas in the U.S. Defense, international trade, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism create the backbone of Oxnard’s economy. The community is known as the state’s largest strawberry producer and as a center for manufacturing.

The Port of Hueneme is a busy deep-harbor commercial port that serves the west coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco. There is also and Air Force Base in Oxnard. Some of the city’s largest employers include St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Oxnard High Union, and Waterway Plastics. The city is the largest strawberry producer in California.

More than 53,000 K-12 students attend school on 54 public school campuses in Oxnard. In addition to Oxnard College, there are several other campuses, including California State University Channel Islands and UC Santa Barbara.

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