- AT&T announced it is installing internet of things (IoT) devices, including smart lighting controllers and LED streetlights, at 14 parks across San Jose, CA, extending the company’s existing technology partnership with the city.
- San Jose will also get more than 100 Wi-Fi extenders to improve public wireless connectivity and 15 IoT nodes designed to improve public safety by allowing for digital and video sensing.
- AT&T will also provide $200,000 to community organizations working to close the city’s digital divide.
San Jose has relied heavily on public-private partnerships (P3s) to roll out new technology. The city’s Broadband and Digital Inclusion Strategy says the strategy can help lower the cost of infrastructure and get it out quicker if all parties are on board. The city has already worked with AT&T to install 5G small cell technology (separate agreements with AT&T, Verizon and Mobilitie last year will help give the city one of the country’s largest small cell networks).
In a statement, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said San Jose "is working collaboratively with companies to improve our community and solve problems with technology." For AT&T, the deployment will also help spread more devices on top of its planned 5G launch in San Jose, giving it access to more data and a larger market for its smart cities technology.
A key part of the latest deployment is AT&T’s commitment to help close the digital divide by providing digital literacy training and access to devices. San Jose has an estimated 95,000 residents who lack adequate home internet, and has started a Digital Inclusion Fund to offer grants and educational programs to those residents. The fund is fed by fees for small cells and other 5G infrastructure, ensuring that as faster connections become available, more residents will have the opportunity to take advantage.