Showing posts with label san jose infrastructure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose infrastructure. Show all posts

Monday, October 28, 2019

San Jose planning to double the number of electric car charging stations

San Jose is already one of the most Electric Vehicle (EV) friendly cities in the world. The combination of a progressive technological mindset, great weather, many single-family homes with garages, and a concern for the environment has led to a recipe for EV success. There are more miles driven in Teslas in San Jose than any other city in the world except for Los Angeles, which has quadruple our population.

There are already well over a thousand EV charging stalls in San Jose, many of them are free to encourage shoppers to visit or as an amenity to employees. Where can you find a free gas station?  Santana Row alone has 160 chargers, almost half of which are Tesla chargers on the 4th floor of the main parking structure (photos below).

Things are about to get even better for EV owners. San Jose has announced they will be receiving $14 million to install even more electric vehicle charging stations. This is enough to fund 1,400 universal chargers which any electric car can use, and 100 new fast chargers that can add miles almost as fast as a gas station in select cars. Public and private institutions that install chargers will get a significant rebate, which extra rebates available for low income areas and multi-unit residential buildings.

If you are thinking about an electric car, I highly recommend the Tesla Model 3. It's $36k after rebates, no maintenance for 4 years, 250+ miles of range, it's safe, fast, fun, and you can use any charger in the US including Tesla's proprietary fast chargers that are now everywhere. If interested, you can get 1,000 free miles of fast charging by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

San Jose adding 4,000 cell stations for 5G wireless

San Jose has been planning to utilize street lights for a next generation wireless grid for quite some time. Now, those plans are taking some concrete steps towards action.

Verizon, AT&T, and Mobilitie are laying out the groundwork for improved 4G LTE and new 5G internet infrastructure with the largest small cell deployment of any city in the United States. About 4,000 new cell stations will be added to light poles throughout San Jose.

Collectively the three companies will also contribute $24 million to San Jose's Digital Inclusion fund, which was designed to close the digital divide and help low income families acquire fast and reliable internet access.

The initiative is great news. If we are going to maintain our lead as the innovation capital of the world, our infrastructure has to keep up.

Source: SVBJ

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.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Facebook is bringing citywide wireless internet to San Jose

San Jose is a pilot city for one of Facebook's moonshot projects called Terragraph. The goal is to blanket an urban area with gigabit internet using ultra high frequency WiFi. While most WiFi networks run at 2.4 or 5 GHz, Facebook is creating a wireless backbone at 60 GHz. This means very high speeds, but the signal cannot go through walls. The plan is to hang high-speed routers on streetlights and the sides of buildings pretty much everywhere, and then connect them to standard networking gear to get the bandwidth inside of each building. The routers would also broadcast traditional WiFi signals, which might even eliminate the need to use a cellular network in an urban area like Downtown.

There is no formal ETA on when the network will be complete, but the routers should start going up very soon.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, May 30, 2016

Google Fiber is one big step closer to coming to San Jose

There is a good chance that San Jose will be the first city in California to get Google Fiber, as well as be the largest city ever to be fully served by Google's 1,000 Mbps internet connection.

Fiber is many times faster than most broadband services that Comcast and AT&T offer, at the same cost or less. You can also add 150 TV channels for about $60/mo. Even those that for some crazy reason do not select Google's service will benefit--competing internet providers will be forced to offer faster services and/or drop prices in order to compete with Google. Oh, and Google is also known to give away 5 Mbps internet access for free (besides the cost of the box) as well as provide elementary schools complimentary access to gigabit internet service.

So just how likely are we to get this amazing service in San Jose? It's pretty damn near certain at this point. Last week the city council unanimously approved Google's construction plan for running 2,300 miles of residential fiber in our city. The official announcement from Google is expected by the end of the summer and may include some neighboring cities like Santa Clara, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. Construction will take around three years to fully build out, with 60% of the fiber cables going underground and 40% hung from utility poles.

When the service does arrive, it will be another great perk of living in San Jose.

Source: SiliconBeat

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Facebook will pilot a new WiFi service in Downtown San Jose

Facebook is working on a new Gigabit-speed WiFi service that will use many shoe box-sized nodes that can be placed just about anywhere. The services is called Terragraph and Downtown San Jose will be their first service area outside of their Menlo Park Headquarters. The goal of the service is to provide a low cost way to connect people to the internet that have limited access, such as rural areas all over the world.

Terragraph will piggyback off existing Downtown San Jose WiFi networks provided by Ruckus Wireless. Even if it is using the same bandwidth, the project should help improve coverage in "dead zones" throughout Downtown. If all goes well, Facebook may bring the service to East San Jose where access is more limited.

Facebook's Terragraph may end up competing with Google Fiber, but not replacing it in San Jose. Google Fiber is still on track based on the article. Mayor Sam Liccardo even mentioned that he hopes to announce a partnership with Google in a matter of weeks and that San Jose will be the largest city in the county to get Google Fiber when the announcement comes.

Source: SVBJ

Saturday, December 19, 2015

San Jose's New "SmartPoles" are a Global First

San Jose has become the first city in the world to get Philips SmartPoles, which are perhaps the most technologically advanced street lights ever manufactured. Besides having energy-efficient LED lighting (made by San Jose-based Lumileds), they have two other distinct features. There is 4G LTE wireless infrastructure built right into the top of the pole, which is likely what gives it such a funky shape. On the bottom of the pole is a PG&E wireless energy meter, which previously required separate boxes on the street.

As a beta test, 50 of these will be manufactured and installed in Downtown San Jose and North San Jose. 14 have already been installed and the rest will be live by March 2016. These will add much needed capacity to cellular networks in San Jose. The best part is that the pilot program will cost nothing to the city. If everything works out, this technology will be deployed to other cities across the US.

I do wish they did not look like giant tampons, but hopefully that can be fixed in future design iterations.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

San Jose Might Become First City in California to Get Google Fiber

Google Fiber is quite possibly the best internet service provider in the United States. Residents that are lucky enough to live in one of the very limited number of Google "Fiberhoods" are able to purchase 1,000 Mbps internet access (download and upload) for $70/mo. That is many times faster than the fastest "elite" services that Comcast and AT&T offer, at a fraction of the cost. You can also add 150 TV channels for another $60. Even those that do not purchase the service benefit, competing internet providers are forced to offer faster services and/or drop prices in order to compete with Google.

If you are strapped for cash and live in an area serviced by Google Fiber, no worries. You can also choose to get 5 Mbps internet access at no cost--$0/mo. Elementary Schools in Fiberhoods get the Gigabit internet service at no cost. The service is so attractive that several companies moved to Kansas City specifically to get Google Fiber. The internet has become an integral part of people's lives, and no one understands this more than the people living in Google's backyard... so when are San Joseans getting Google Fiber?!

Now the good news. Google has applied for permits to build two shelters called "Fiber Huts" in San Jose. These are the structures required to roll out Google Fiber, and Google would not be building them unless they are serious about an expansion of the service to San Jose. The rumor is that an official announcement for the service could come as early as next month!

If San Jose is selected for Google Fiber service, they would install 2,300 miles of fiber (some below ground and some using utility poles). Existing infrastructure would be utilized, so disruptions should be minimal. This would be another big win for San Jose. It seems like we're on a roll lately with good news around major development and infrastructure projects!

Source: The Merc

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Vacant Office Buildings Getting Free Gigabit Fiber

Well, well, well... when it rains it pours. Last week I happily posted about Google's consideration of San Jose (and other Silicon Valley cities) to be part of the next Google Fiber expansion. This would bring inexpensive ultra-fast internet to homes, businesses, and schools. Now it looks like the City of San Jose is initiating a new program that would use Fiber as a carrot to help fill vacant office buildings.

The City currently has some excess capacity in their internal Gigabit Fiber network. The Office of Economic Development is proposing that we use that extra capacity to wire up to six buildings with over 30% vacancy as an incentive for companies to fill those spaces. The ultra-fast internet would come free of charge, but the building owners would have to pay for any up-front costs to connect the building to the Fiber.  The out of pocket costs to San Jose would be nil, but the upside could be more companies in San Jose and increased tax revenue.

So far three building owners are interested: 2 North First, 4 North Second, and 75 E. Santa Clara.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, February 21, 2014

Google Fiber Considering Deployment in San Jose!

Google has just announced several new cities that are candidates for Fiber internet deployment, and guess what... San Jose is on the list! While Comcast and AT&T Uverse internet speeds average 15-30 Mbps, Google Fiber can hit a staggering 1,000 Mbps with future plans to go up to 10,000 Mbps. The difference is night and day. Imagine no load times for any page on the web and the ability to stream 4K (Ultra HD) video to every room in your house simultaneously. The best part is that all this performance does not come at a premium. Google's prices are competitive with what we pay today for average speeds.

Internet is becoming an absolute infrastructure necessity like electricity, water, and a sever system. As far as internet providers go, Google Fiber is the best option in the US. If we can bring this to San Jose, then it will be a huge competitive advantage over other cities--both for companies wanting to locate here and residents wanting to live here. Hopefully the city council will do whatever it takes to make this a reality. How can you help? Email you Councilmember and let them know we need this!

Friday, December 23, 2011

AT&T Expanding Wireless Service in San Jose

If you happen to be an AT&T subscriber, I have some good news. AT&T just added 3 new cell towers in San Jose, in addition to upgrading over 100 cell sites within the city limits (220 in Santa Clara County). These investments will enable 4G wireless connections and improve service for all subscribers. There are even some photos below of the new equipment.

Hopefully we will continue to be one of the first markets to get these infrastructure improvements going forward, being the capital of Silicon Valley and all (I'm looking at you 5G technology).



Three New Cell Sites in San Jose Will Improve Connectivity and Performance
for Mobile Voice and Data Network

SAN JOSE, CA. DECEMBER 7, 2011 — AT&T today announced network upgrades in San Jose designed to provide its customers faster speeds, increased reliability and best-in-class wireless service. 

AT&T’s network enhancements include three more new cell sites in the city of San Jose.  The first new cell site provides improved coverage to the area bounded by Highway 101, Brokaw Road and I-880.  The second new cell site provides improved coverage and capacity to the Eastridge Mall along Capitol Expressway to the area bounded by Quimby Lane, Glen Dundee Way and North of Tully Road.  The third new cell site provides improved coverage and capacity in the Old Piedmont area of San Jose along Piedmont Road between Landess Avenue and Hosteller Road     

In addition to expanded coverage and capacity from the three new cell sites in San Jose, AT&T has added additional capacity to more than 100 cell sites in San Jose and to more than 220 cell sites in Santa Clara County. 

“Adding more capacity to a cell site is like adding more lanes on the freeway so that voice and data traffic flows faster,” said Terry Stenzel, AT&T Vice President and General Manager for Northern California and Northern Nevada. “Whether customers are talking, texting, e-mailing, surfing the net, streaming music or video, using their favorite apps, or conducting business we want to make sure they have a good mobile broadband experience.”

In addition, AT&T continues upgrading cell sites with fiber optic and Ethernet connections back to the central switching facilities, enabling faster 4G speeds in San Jose and across the greater Santa Clara County.

“We’re investing in our network in San Jose and Santa Clara County because we’re committed to providing best-in-class wireless voice and data service to our customers,” said Ken McNeely, AT&T’s California President.  “AT&T has invested nearly $775 million in its San Francisco Bay Area wireless and wireline networks from 2008-2010, and we will continue investing and making network improvements.”

AT&T’s mobile broadband network provides several important advantages for customers, including the ability to talk and surf at the same time. For instance, customers can look up directions to an event while still talking on the phone, or browse social media sites will chatting with a friend.  AT&T also provides access to voice service in more than 225 countries and data service in more than 200 countries.  Business Traveler magazine recently named AT&T as having the “Best Mobile Coverage in the World” – the fourth time AT&T has received the distinction.

In addition, most AT&T smartphone customers have access to more than 29,000 AT&T Wi-Fi Hotspots across the country, and more than 860 across the San Francisco Bay Area at no extra charge.  With more than half of AT&T customers now using smartphones, the popularity of Wi-Fi is soaring.  AT&T customers are now making more than 100 million connections a month to the AT&T Wi-Fi Network.   San Francisco leads the nation with nearly 10 percent of all the Wi-Fi connections coming from the greater Bay Area.