Austin, TX has earned its reputation as a tech-friendly city. Part of that is due to SXSW, which draws tens of thousands of people and international attention every year. But as residents are well aware, that’s only a piece of the story. Over the past decade, emerging to large technology companies have started to build a significant presence here. The downtown area in particular has seen an influx of young, tech-savvy residents who rely on access to reliable wireless service. But as more people move into the area, the current wireless infrastructure is unable to keep up with the demand.
Towers exist nearby, but needed to increase capacity and provide access to the latest technologies. We’ve proposed upgrading the wireless infrastructure in the area with a new small cell solutions (SCS) network. SCS is the new standard of technology servicing top cities in the US. In fact, we’ve successfully deployed networks like this in places like Palo Alto, CA and Manhattan, NY.
With an SCS network, we’ll be able to use a series of small, custom-designed nodes—connected by high-capacity fiber optic cable—to enable expanded carrier coverage and capacity in the downtown area. As a certified Service Provider Certificate of Operating Authority (SPOCA) in the state of Texas, we’ll be able to place the nodes in the public right-of-way where much of the other utility and telecommunications equipment is located. This will reduce the amount of redundant infrastructure needed and ensure that the nodes blend in with the surroundings. We also embrace a shared model, which means that multiple wireless carriers can use the same equipment—which will even further minimize the amount of new infrastructure needed to serve the most people across as many carriers as possible.
We have several regulatory hurdles we need to navigate before we can begin bringing downtown Austin’s wireless coverage up to the level of other top tech cities. We will continue appealing to city officials with the goal of beginning this important work as soon as possible.
The challenges we're solving
We have over 15 years of experience implementing SCS in communities, including dense urban centers and residential neighborhoods. SCS provides many unique benefits, including:
- With the increased use of data-hungry apps and video, the SCS network will add much-needed capacity and relieve the congestion and strain put on existing towers in the area.
- When the population surges during large events like SXSW, SCS has been proven to be able to provide reliable speed and connectivity.
- With the virtually unlimited capacity of a fiber-optic network, future upgrades are as simple as swapping out equipment.
- With greater coverage and capacity, people will have more reliable access to public safety and emergency services like 911.
- Our CLEC status and shared model help preserve neighborhood aesthetics by maximizing coverage and minimizing new infrastructure.
The 17 pending proposed installation sites are to be located on streetlight poles within city-owned sidewalks adjacent to the following locations:
(ADTC_01) 784 San Jacinto Blvd.
(ADTC_02) 801 Lavaca St.
(ADTC_03) 488 E 6th St.
(ADTC_04) 898 Congress Ave.
(ADTC_05) 539 E 6th St.
(ADTC_06) 590 E Cesar Chavez St.
(ADTC_07) 700 Congress Ave.
(ADTC_08) 283 Brazos St.
(ADTC_09) 93 Brazos St.
(ADTC_10) 595 E 8th St.
(ADTC_11) 201 San Jacinto Blvd.
(ADTC_12) 379 E 6th St.
(ADTC_13) 494 Bowie St.
(ADTC_14) 305 E 3rd St.
(ADTC_15) 342 W 2nd St.
(ADTC_16) 194 W Cesar Chavez St.
(ADTC_17) 300 West Ave.
Proposed node map