21st century cities: Partnership to bring 10G internet to Farmington, Farmington Hills

A press conference held at the tail end of October featured officials from the cities of Farmington and Farmington Hills, along with representatives from SiFi Networks, a New Jersey-based telecom company. The crowd was gathered to celebrate the launch of Farmington Area FiberCity, a partnership between the two cities that will deliver 10 Gbps Broadband internet to the nearly 50,000 homes, businesses, and institutions that populate the two neighboring communities.

For those of us not technologically inclined, 10 Gbps stands for 10 Gigabits per second.

Or, to put it another way, that’s fast. Really fast.

10G internet, as it’s sometimes called, is about as fast an internet network available to your average home or business these days. The aforementioned press conference marked the official construction launch of the $70 million project, which comes at no cost to either city or their taxpayers. Instead, the project is funded privately; SiFi Networks will build an open access network and then lease it to area internet service providers. Construction and, ultimately, the availability of 10G internet will happen in phases over the next few years, more information of which is available online.

“The cities of Farmington and Farmington Hills demonstrate the power of two communities coming together to champion a vital infrastructure project that directly benefits all their residents with crucially needed modern-day connectivity,” Marcus Bowman, community relations manager for SiFi Networks, said at the launch. “SiFi Networks is delighted to make the long-term investment in the Farmington area because we see how fiber networks transform communities into hubs of innovation, remote work, better healthcare, and smart city services. With FiberCity, Farmington Hills and Farmington will truly become 21st century cities.”

That can be good news for a lot of people, but especially so for the businesses that rely on fast and reliable internet, and the approximately 1-in-4 people that work remotely, be it from home or their favorite coffee shop.

Which got us to thinking: Here are some favorite spots for working remotely in downtown Farmington.

Coffee City, USA

It’s not hard to find a good cup of coffee in downtown Farmington these days. While the ever-present Starbucks has held its own here for years now, a wave of locally-owned, independent coffee shops and cafes have turned downtown into a destination for coffee lovers near and far. Late last summer saw the openings of both Apothecary Coffee & Espresso and Ground Control Coffee Roasters, and recent reports have it that Blue Hat Coffee is nearly ready to open in the historic Farmington Masonic Temple after years of renovations and unexpected delays. Their website announces a Monday, Nov. 27, grand opening.

Pints ‘n’ portfolios

For those confident in their computer skills while enjoying an adult beverage, several of downtown’s bars and restaurants offer free wi-fi. The Sidecar Slider Bar, Mi.Mosa, Basement Burger Bar, and John Crowley & Sons are just some of the bars that offer their patrons wi-fi — and delicious food menus, too. And if a cigar is more your speed, the Loft Cigar Lounge has wi-fi, too.

Quiet time

While some people prefer the white noise that a cafe or bar provides — the whirring of an espresso machine, music drifting in and out from the stereo, the clinking of glasses — others prefer something on the quiet side. The free wi-fi offered at the Farmington Community Library should provide the right setting for completing tasks and deadlines, and amongst a wealth of knowledge and literature, to boot. Need a library card? The FCL recently announced the winners of a library card design contest, featuring designs from children and young adults in the community.
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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.