Thursday, April 26, 2018

AT&T installing 200 "small cells" in San Jose

We live in the middle of Silicon Valley, yet it often feels like infrastructure is slow to keep up with the times and our population growth. My family on a tiny island in the Azores with a population of 4,200 people (not a typo) got fiber optic internet four years ago. I still don't have fiber in my home, and Cisco's headquarters is practically next door. I was finally able to get a gigabit connection through Comcast last year, albeit with the same copper wires we've been using for decades.

Some relief is coming soon for our choked networks thanks to a partnership between the city of San Jose and AT&T. "Small cells" are miniature towers that can provide high speed 4G LTE and eventually 5G internet to a small neighborhood. They are small enough to be hung on lightpoles or the sides of buildings. AT&T is planning to install 200 of these throughout San Jose, improving both coverage and internet speeds.

San Jose will collect $5 million over 15 years in exchange for letting AT&T use the poles. These funds are currently earmarked for digital inclusion projects that will extend broadband to San Joseans that cannot afford internet access.

San Jose will also get a $1 million grant to help accelerate internal permitting processes related to small cell deployments. 5G internet is coming within a couple years, and it relies heavily on small cell sites that provide gigabit speeds, but only to a small area. Speeding up permitting means we are less likely to be left out of the next major infrastructure improvement for the internet. It's great to see AT&T investing in the community and helping San Jose realize its vision for becoming a "smart city." It will be great if other telco's join in as well.

For more information on the project, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment