Gov. Ned Lamont today announced the launch of a new public-private partnership with AT&T whereby the latter will provide 4G LTE technology along the New Haven Line – the busiest commuter rail line in the U.S. – from New Haven to Connecticut’s western border.
The state worked with AT&T to make its right-of-way along the rail line available for the placement of small cells and related equipment and implement it in an expedited manner. In turn, AT&T has developed plans to use that access to install a series of small cell nodes, which will work in tandem with the company’s existing network to provide better coverage and higher data speeds to customers using their devices while traveling on the New Haven Line.
AT&T can upgrade, via software, to 5G as that technology matures and customer demand calls for it.
“Here in Connecticut, we are thinking about infrastructure differently than other states, and that includes access to high-speed internet networks,” Lamont, speaking at the South Norwalk train station, said. “These kinds of investments will boost productivity and significantly contribute to Connecticut’s already high quality of life, all while making the state more attractive to future employers.”
Lamont noted that AT&T has committed to continue working closely with the state’s recently created Council on 5G Technology, the governor’s office, and Connecticut Department of Transportation to enhance service and expand 5G in the state. On Nov. 22, AT&T announced that its 5G network will soon launch over low-band spectrum in several New England cities, including Bridgeport.
In addition to AT&T’s small cell installations along the rail line, 132 new rail cars bought as part of Lamont’s CT2030 proposal will be designed in partnership with industry experts and equipped with roof-top antennas that enhance cellular connectivity by amplifying 4G and 5G signals throughout the cars.
“Improving the ability of residents and businesses to connect to high-speed networks is critical in our efforts to spur economic growth and job creation,” said David Lehman, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development. “Public-private partnerships like this will go a long way to strengthening our state, and I applaud AT&T for their commitment on working with us to make our state an even better place to work and live.”