Due to its sheer size, expanding wireless coverage in New York’s Central Park is particularly challenging. The park covers 843 acres, and dense foliage prohibited rooftop antennas around the perimeter from providing adequate coverage.
Working closely with several governing bodies, we installed fiber across the park and utilized existing infrastructure to deploy a state-of-the-art small cell solutions (SCS) network. This approach provided necessary voice and data coverage while blending in and maintaining the natural beauty of the park.
Central Park averages over 100,000 visitors a day, and on a typical Saturday, that number regularly reaches 220,000.* In addition, the park is also host to large events including concerts on the Great Lawn and the finish line of the New York City Marathon. Providing the infrastructure to ensure that all these visitors have access to the voice and data services they demand comes with several unique challenges:
- The park is considered part of the city. Residents and guests expect their smartphones to work.
- For over 150 years, people have gone to great lengths to ensure that the park remains an oasis from the fast pace and urban feel of the rest of the city. Any new infrastructure couldn’t disrupt the park’s beauty and restful feeling.
- The needs and interests of several different stakeholders and governing bodies had to be weighed, including the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DOITT), the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Central Park Conservancy, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
To meet the wireless demands of the many visitors who frequent the park, we settled on a fiber-based solution—giving us essentially unlimited capacity to build our SCS network. It is also a forward-looking solution, since future upgrades won’t require installing additional cable. To preserve the park’s natural beauty, we placed nodes on a variety of existing infrastructure, from streetlights to signposts—helping to maintain the park’s main draw as a beautiful retreat in a bustling city. Like all the SCS networks we build, it’s a neutral host solution, so all wireless carriers can take advantage of the new system without unnecessary infrastructure. With everything in place, Central Park now has the capacity to meet the voice and data needs of the many tourists and New York City residents.
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