Fiber Network

Connect to the Palo Alto Commercial Fiber Backbone!

Find out the advantages of the commercial fiber optics service provided by the City of Palo Alto. Contact our Commercial Fiber Account Manager to see if our service is a good fit for your business, or sign up:

Commercial Fiber Account Manager
City of Palo Alto Utilities
Phone: (650) 329-2241
If you're ready to get started right now, please call us at (650) 329-2241 or email for more information.  Please note the following:Key Benefits - We provide the Pipe, You provide the Speed!

You pick your Internet provider: With CPAU's fiber backbone, you pick a service provider for internet, telephone and video. Select the best deal from the multiple providers of telecommunications services who will compete for your business.

We offer very competitive pricing and direct access: City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) offers an extensive fiber optics infrastructure to serve your business telecommunications needs.

Flat fee without bandwidth limitations: You pay a flat fee for the fibers you license, regardless of how you use them. The only bandwidth limits are those you impose with the hardware you choose and the bandwidth/speed you buy from your Internet Provider. As your bandwidth needs escalate, this benefit becomes increasingly valuable.


CPAU's ring-based design of the fiber backbone allows for highly reliable network configurations, pushing service reliability to new levels

Flexibility and Control

With CPAU's commercial fiber, you are in control. You design your network, install your own choice of equipment, and provision the network to meet your needs.

Your advanced applications are no problem.

You, or your service provider(s), are free to attach the advanced telecommunications applications requirements of your choice to light the CPAU dark fibers and transmit information between locations that you designate.

You can interconnect communications systems or computer networks across multiple Palo Alto locations. Connect directly to your local and/or long distance carrier(s) of choice for a full range of communications services. Or provide redundant telecommunications connections for enhanced reliability.

Your Access To Internet Service Providers

With roughly 100 Internet service providers, Palo Alto may already have the highest number of Internet service providers per capita of any city in the world.

Downtown Palo Alto is also home to the Palo Alto Internet Exchange (PAIX), a facility where Internet service providers exchange data between their networks. PAIX is owned by Equinix. PAIX is a combined switching and commercial data center that is independent of any one Internet service provider or telecommunications carrier affiliation.

A portion of CPAU's fiber backbone is located within, which gives you direct access to the Internet service providers located there.

Network Configuration Options

The City will custom configure fiber optics pathways on the backbone as requested. A vast array of fiber backbone configuration options are available. Several examples are shown below:
  • Point-to-Point - This configuration can be used to directly connect any two points in Palo Alto. The four options below are variations of this basic configuration.
  • Route-Diverse Ring/Single Drops - With the proper network equipment, this configuration can be used to enhance reliability. Two diverse paths are available on the backbone to prevent service interruptions even if the fiber backbone is damaged along one of the two paths.
  • Route-Diverse Ring/Dual Drops - With the proper network equipment, this fiber configuration can be used to further enhance reliability. Two diverse paths are available end-to-end to prevent service interruptions even if the fiber backbone and/or the drop cable are damaged along one of the two paths.
  • Star Configuration -This configuration can be used to establish a single location as a hub from which individual point-to-point connections can be made.
  • Hybrid Configuration - Options 1-4 may also be combined for a custom-tailored network solution consisting of a hybrid of the other configuration options.

What Are the Costs?

Our fiber optic lines are priced by the fiber mile. Therefore, the most accurate way for you to determine your costs is to contact us. Once we know your address we can give you a good idea of what your installation fee would be.

General pricing details can be found here.

Detailed Network Map

Please contact our Commercial Fiber Account Manager who will be happy to provide one.

We're here to help!

You don't need to figure everything out in advance. Please call with your questions or ideas and we'll work with you to determine what makes the most sense. Thank you for your interest in CPAU's Commercial Fiber Optics.

Commercial Fiber Account Manager
City of Palo Alto Utilities
Phone: (650) 329-2241

Glossary - Common Terms Relating to Fiber Optics
Last Updated: Oct 3, 2017