Broadband Communities

SEP 2018

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 2 2 | B R O A D B A N D C O M M U N I T I E S | w w w. b r o a d b a n d c o m m u n i t i e s . c o m | A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 8 Ontario Is Investing For the 21st Century Ontario, California, a fast-growing city in the Inland Empire, leverages its growth with an ambitious fiber-to-the-home network. By Masha Zager / Broadband Communities A generation ago, Ontario, California, was a sleepy farm town surrounded by acres of fruit trees. Today, it's an up-and- coming city of 174,000, poised to double in size in the next 25 years, and an economic engine of California's Inland Empire. The city has many advantages: location, infrastructure and a history of planning for growth, along with a skilled workforce, low labor and real estate costs and a positive business climate. It also has a city-owned fiber optic network that amplifies all its other advantages. Ontario is 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, within commuting distance for people priced out of Los Angeles and Orange counties – or just seeking a less-stressful living environment. It isn't merely an exurb but also a transportation hub easily accessible by interstate highway, railroad and air. That Ontario is well served by transportation isn't an accident but rather a result of the city's history as one of the first planned communities. In the 1880s, two brothers, George and William Chaffey, built Ontario close to the Southern Pacific Railroad, constructing advanced-technology tunnels to bring water into their "model colony" in the desert and selling water rights in conjunction with plots of land. The brothers also started a power company and an agricultural college. Their successors built a streetcar system, an airport and other infrastructure that helped the town develop, and eventually the orchards gave way to factories and residential developments. When the airport lost business after becoming part of Los Angeles World Airports, the city of Ontario and county of San Bernardino formed the Ontario International Airport Authority and took ownership of the airport in November 2016. Since that time, the airport has experienced rapid growth in passenger volume and cargo volume and continues to expand flight options, including daily direct flights to Taiwan on China Airlines and New York City via JetBlue. Amazon Prime flies out of Ontario, and UPS and Fedex have facilities there. THE NEW MODEL COLONY Forward-thinking city leaders realized that continued economic growth would require more room, so they annexed 13 square miles of land in 1999 for a "new model colony" – now called Ontario Ranch – that could allow the city's population to double. The city adopted master plans for the area in 2002, envisioning a 30-year transition from agricultural uses to single- family, multifamily, commercial and business park/light industrial development. In place of suburban sprawl, the master plan calls for distinct neighborhoods connected by greenways, trails, open spaces, amenities and infrastructure. Walkability, livability and quality of life were prime goals. About 47,000 residential units are expected to be built eventually; about 2,000 of these will be built and occupied by the end of 2018.

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