NYC Broadband Franchises Named Including Crown Fiber

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The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) last week announced the independent Franchise and Concession Review Committee (FCRC) approval of 10 franchise agreements negotiated by DoITT, laying the groundwork for the equitable expansion of 5G mobile service across all five boroughs.

The FCRC approved franchise agreements between DoITT and the following 10 franchisees: Crown Castle Fiber, Crown Castle NG East, Crown Castle Solutions, CSC Wireless, ExteNet Systems (ExteNet 1), ExteNet Systems (ExteNet 2), New Cingular Wireless PCS, New York SMSA Limited Partnership, Transit Wireless, and ZenFi Networks. This process started with a request-for-proposals.

The agreements authorize the franchisees to install, operate, and maintain equipment and facilities, including base stations and access-point facilities, on city-owned street and traffic light poles as well as some privately owned utility poles. The agreements also cover bus stop shelters, automatic public toilets, and LinkNYC kiosks, subject to additional city approvals. 

For 15 years, the City of New York has managed the deployment of wireless technology on the city’s light poles and on privately owned utility poles. This effort has resulted in nearly 6,000 pole installations, with 5,000 more in the pipeline, by franchisees throughout the five boroughs, with the goal of ensuring equitable access to the most robust mobile networks possible across the city.

The new agreements grant pole-top access to 10 franchisees, increasing competition and spurring the buildout of existing 4G networks in underserved areas outside of Manhattan, as well as laying the groundwork for the 5G expansion. Franchisees will then have the opportunity to reserve poles and install equipment at their selected sites.

“I’m thrilled that there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to improving cell service across the five boroughs,” said Council Member Robert Holden. 

“I’ve honestly been waiting to buy my next smartphone with 5G,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, “and now I can, knowing the city will be rolling out the 5G network New Yorkers need. “Goodbye high latency slow downloads and hello low latency high speed with ultra reliable connections,” he said.  

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