Plans will see the city and its P3 partner expand residential and business broadband access using a planned carrier-grade, redundant backbone ring city fiber network and the state middle-mile network (Golden State Net) along US Highway 99.
“The partnership will increase the availability of affordable broadband internet access and market competition throughout the city,” the RFP said.
While the city and its chosen partner will target state grant funding opportunities to fully finance the project, the private partner will also “negotiate and commit to privately finance and construct additional fiber optic infrastructure”, with a particular focus on “affordability and access for un- and underserved, disadvantaged, vulnerable, or low-income areas”.
Interested parties have until August 28, 2023, to respond to the tender, which can be found here.
Merced is no stranger to the P3 model, with the University of California’s Merced campus project blazing a trail for P3s in university campus schemes.