San Leandro Gets a Federal Grant for Lauded Fiber Optic Loop

SAN LEANDRO//TECHNOLOGY | Lit San Leandro, the much discussed and celebrated fiber optic loop system routed though the city’s conduits, received a recent boost last week by way of a federal grant of $2.1 million for the expansion of the fiber optic network.

The grant will enable the city to bring the fiber optic network to additional businesses that Patrick Kennedy, CEO of OSIsoft and founder of Lit San Leandro, hopes to rally; such as green energy, advanced manufacturing, 3D printing, teleconference studios, genomic services, private clouds and medical research.

Unlike other Bay Area cities, San Leandro has garnered it self a unique opportunity to pull businesses to San Leandro because it has retained 90 percent of its industrial land. Last October San Leandro’s unemployment rating was recorded at a 9.9 percent, a decrease from its previous month and the first time since it was below 10 percent in April 2009.

In the post-Great Recession era coupled with globalization America has witnessed stagnation in manufacturing growth because of the shift to cheap labor overseas and slow employment ratings. The Lit San Leandro project focuses on skilled labor that can be tapped into by a high speed communication network like hybrid manufacturing. Kennedy has been vocal about this, “I predict that one of the early adopters will be hybrid manufacturing that ‘wrap the steel’ in areas of low cost labor, but bring the partial assembly to the US for the addition of sophisticated electronics, computers and the ‘all glass’ dashboards.”

The flexible fiber loop will be able to process about 10 gigabytes of information per second; a lighting fast capacity that the City hopes will be a lucrative attraction for businesses of the digital era. Once the EDA funds have been completed then the expansion will be able to begin; with an estimated timeline for completion at about a year. The City says the expansion will bring the fiber optic loop to the majority of commercial and industrial properties in San Leandro.

Despite a minor criticism of Mayor Steven Cassidy during his State of the City address earlier this year when an ebullient citizen lambasted Cassidy for his animate support for Lit San Leandro, a corporate entity, while pressing for pension reform; the Lit San Leandro project has witnessed wide support. The project has been a talking point among candidates for city council this year with candidates talking up its opportunity. The project has become a beacon for San Leandro’s economic climate that’s seen grey skies since 2008.

Despite the talk of job growth in America the results have been relatively modest and in a globalized economy America may never see some of the jobs it’s lost in unskilled manufacturing return ever again. Lit San Leandro’s goal is to bring skilled manufacturing to San Leandro while reaping the rewards for business investment into its lines.

Shane Bond is a contributor to the East Bay Citizen

2 thoughts on “San Leandro Gets a Federal Grant for Lauded Fiber Optic Loop

  1. Cassidy and his idiot yes men and women possess absolutely zero knowledge on the Fiber Optic Loop and how to bring in High Tech business.

    Even if this Fiber Loop thing turns into something. Why would high tech business come to SL? Most notable tech has already built up in sunnyvale, cupertino, santa clara and san jose.

    Others have moved to Pleasanton (a city Morgan Mack Rose says she doesnt want us to become like)

    My guess is this turns out to be a roughly 10 million dollar investment that basically gets a rough even return on investment, but do we turn into the nest silicon valley powerhouse? Probably not!

    Plus exactly how many of the jobs created will go to San Leandro Residents considering our demo, median income, educational level…….

    Dont believe the hype!!!


  2. Did this money just fall from the sky? It would be informative to be able to assign credit for this grant landing in SL. USEDA has it listed as part of 4.2 million total project, any of that also headed to SL?


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