Haskell applauds deal with AT&T to improve Internet on trains
Gov. Ned Lamont on Monday announced a partnership with AT&T that will upgrade Internet access on Metro-North commuter trains between New Haven and Greenwich and create the infrastructure for the eventual transition to next-generation, high-speed 5G.
During a morning news conference in the South Norwalk train station, Lamont was joined by AT&T officials and state lawmakers in detailing the deal, in which the telecommunications giant will be granted access to the train line’s right-of-way, to erect 30-foot towers holding dozens of small cell nodes over the next year.
“This’ll be one of the first 5G corridors in the country,” said Lamont, who ran for office in 2018 on the promise of fostering the high-speed Internet as a way to foster jobs and economic growth. “When it comes to connectivity, right now Connecticut is already one of the most-Internet-accessible-connectivity states in the country. We’ve got to do more than that.”
The upgrades will remove so-called dead spots along the nation’s busiest commuter rail line. “I want you to be as incredibly productive as you can,” Lamont said. “By the end of this year, I hope we’re going to have faster service, no more dead zones, easy access. You’ll be able to save time and do a lot of the work you can from your office right in the train cars going forward, and soon after that we get up to 5G service. This is a way you bring Connecticut’s economy back to life.”
“Commuters have waited long enough for the ability to commute efficiently,” said State Senator Will Haskell (D-26). “I spend a lot of mornings at train stations, chatting with those who sit on the train every morning and every evening. They want to be efficient with their time, and they’re tired of service dead zones along the route to Manhattan. That’s why I’ve fought for improved connectivity since my first day in the Senate, and I’m overjoyed to see this partnership become a reality at no cost to taxpayers. Our commuters need services that match our modern expectations. This gets us that much closer, and helps attract the next generation of workers.”
More than 100 new rail cars would be purchased as part of the CT2030 proposal, equipped with rooftop antennas that would amplify service throughout the cars.