San Jose Reaches Agreement With AT&T To Deploy Small Cell Technology on City Lightpoles

May 04, 2018
san jose allows at&t to deploy small cell technology

The City of San Jose has reached a tentative agreement with AT&T on a small cell deployment that will help improve wireless coverage in San Jose and provide millions of dollars to support the City’s efforts to bridge the digital divide for low-income residents.

The proposed agreement would allow AT&T to install approximately 200 small cells on City lightpoles across San Jose. The deployment of these small cells will allow AT&T to improve current wireless voice and data coverage for San Jose residents and businesses, as well as the quality and coverage of the current FirstNet emergency responder communications network. The small cells could also help support the deployment of next generation mobile technologies in the future.

In return for granting access to install these small cells on public lightpoles, the City will receive approximately $5 million in lease revenues over the next 15 years to support City digital inclusion projects that seek to help ensure that all San Jose residents have access to high-quality and affordable broadband internet service.

AT&T has also agreed to remit a significant portion of its required permitting fees upfront, and will be providing the City with a $1 million grant, to help the City accelerate the development of its internal permitting processes related to small cell deployments.

“This deployment offers a model for collaboration between local government and the private sector to advance the public benefits of small cell technology,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said. “I’d like to thank AT&T for working with us to improve service for our residents who are their current customers, but also helping us to expand internet access to San Joseans who remain on the wrong side of the digital divide.”

“AT&T thanks the City for working together with us to accelerate the deployment of small cells in San Jose, which will help build the next generation digital networks,” President of AT&T California Ken McNeely said.

Facilitating the development of a robust broadband infrastructure is a key strategy of San Jose’s Smart City Vision, which Mayor Liccardo launched in 2016. In addition to advancing the City’s goal of connecting all San Jose residents with affordable, high-quality internet service, enhancing the broadband infrastructure service is key to supporting the deployment of new technologies (like IoT technologies) that the City hopes to leverage to improve safety, services, and quality of life.

“Street lights are valuable assets that can be used to improve connectivity for all,” San Jose’s Director of Innovation and Digital Strategy Dolan Beckel said. “This ‘connectivity first’ collaboration with AT&T puts us on the same team, facing the opportunity to expand connectivity together. AT&T is helping us improve our processes to move at the speed of business where AT&T and other telcos can meet their goals of rapid, predictable deployment at scale, and the city can ensure more equitable access to connectivity that lays the foundation for the smart city of the future.”

The City Council will consider this proposed agreement at its May 1 meeting. More information is available in a staff report, which can be downloaded here.

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