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Gigabit Cities

Gigabites: Santa Cruz Revs Up Wireless Gig

TGIF. In today's edition of Gigabites, millimeter wave technology powers wireless gigabit service in Santa Cruz, Calif.; Columbus considers new gigabit wireless kiosks; the pole attachment fight rages on in Louisville, Ky.; and more.

  • Santa Cruz, Calif., is the latest city to light up a gigabit wireless network, thanks to the joint efforts of Cruzio Internet and Siklu Communications Ltd. Cruzio is providing the underlying fiber infrastructure for the network, while Siklu has connected millimeter wave radios to Cruzio's fiber to spread connectivity wirelessly throughout the city. The deployment starts with anchor institutions in Santa Cruz such as City Hall and a local community center, but the network is also expected to reach additional business and residential sites.

    The Santa Cruz partners aren't the only ones interested in millimeter wave technology. Google Fiber Inc. is hunting for mmWave engineers as it looks to expand to new gigabit cities, and startup company Starry Inc. plans to build a global broadband business using high-frequency millimeter waves. (See Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding and Will Starry's Big Broadband Ambition Fall to Earth?)

    Also of increasing importance, mmWave spectrum, which ranges between 30GHz and 300GHz, includes frequency bands that are likely to be adopted for 5G mobile broadband. In fact, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to vote on opening up certain mmWave bands for 5G services later this month. (See FCC Comm. Names 4 Initial 5G Bands for US, Eyes More.)

    According to Siklu, it has already implemented millimeter wave technology in several locations beyond Santa Cruz. These deployments include supporting a high-end security system in Fort Meyers, Fla.; extending a municipal fiber network in Vail, Colo.; and providing broadband access to tens of thousands of spectators in New York on site for the NYC Global Citizen Fest and the NYC Marathon.


  • For more gigabit coverage and insights, check out our dedicated Gigabit/Broadband content channel here on Light Reading.


  • Sticking with wireless, it sounds like Columbus, Ohio could get kitted out with gigabit-connected kiosks (much like New York City) as it moves forward with several smart city initiatives. Columbus earned funding last week as the winner of the federal government's Smart City Challenge, and according to Recode, the city is now considering whether to add these wireless stations to its smart city roadmap. Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. and part of the LinkNYC project, is reportedly hoping to partner with Columbus on a kiosk rollout. (See also Gigabites: The Big Apple Gets Gig WiFi.)

  • Because pole attachment fights never get old, there is now news in Louisville, Ky., that Frontier Communications Corp. (NYSE: FTR) is joining with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) to protest new utility pole rules that would make it easier for non-incumbent ISPs, including Google Fiber, to enter the local broadband market. The catch? Frontier doesn't actually do business in Louisville. It's only jumping on AT&T's bandwagon in the hope of forestalling other regions from pursuing similar measures. The telco may be too late. Connecticut, where Frontier does operate, is already considering pole attachment rule changes throughout the state. (See also Gigabites: Google Fiber Fights for Pole Position.)

  • And finally, less controversial gigabit rollouts continue in other parts of the continent. Rogers has expanded its Ignite Gigabit Internet service to new communities in Ontario and Ottawa, while the much smaller OzarksGo (a subsidiary of the Ozarks Electric Cooperative) has revealed its phase-one deployment locations and residential pricing within the company's service areas of Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma.
  • — Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading

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