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WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS INITIATIVE

What are we doing?

Joint Venture’s Wireless Communication Initiative is a collaboration between the wireless industry, local governments, businesses and residents working to improve the wireless and broadband infrastructure in Silicon Valley to have faster networks and eliminate dead spots. The consortium builds on existing relationships with local governments to lead a coordinated public-private sector effort and mounts a highly strategic campaign to transform Silicon Valley’s wireless data and communications infrastructure.

Our Goal:

Faster, cheaper, and more wireless and broadband connectivity in Silicon Valley.

Our Strategies:

  • Educate Public and Private Sector Stakeholders – Identify key stakeholders in cities and educate them on the critical issues affecting the growth of the wireless industry. Similarly, educate the wireless industry on how to partner with cities.
  • Promote Model Ordinances and Processes – Work with cities to provide best practices and guidelines for developing model wireless deployment ordinances.
  • Heighten Our Advocacy in the Local Jurisdictions – Provide a strong regional voice speaking to the competitive and economic implications of a robust wireless infrastructure.
  • Expand Coalition – Find creative synergies between local governments, business, and the wireless industry and build coalitions to improve wireless broadband connectivity.

Why are we doing it?

Concerns regarding the wireless infrastructure have become even more urgent given the evolution of “smart phones” and other mobile devices that demand greater bandwidth. Mobile networks in North America are filled to 80 percent of capacity, with 36 percent of base stations facing capacity constraints, according to a survey by investment bank Credit Suisse. Many of the smart devices and the applications that run on these networks have been designed by companies right here in Silicon Valley. The success of these technologies will affect the economic prospects of the region. Furthermore, the new services will increasingly be critical to the way we do business and communicate.

To be an innovative region, Silicon Valley needs a robust and reliable wireless network. Unfortunately, we don’t have one. This hurts our economy and our competitive position, and it even poses threats to our safety.

Why do we have this problem?

Basically speaking, we have this problem because our use of wireless devices has increased exponentially, and the infrastructure is not keeping pace. The proliferation of smart phones and other mobile devices requiring wireless broadband is pushing existing infrastructure beyond its limits, so network are no longer always reliable to keep call connectivity or process data quickly.

Meanwhile, wireless communication growth continues unabated. From CTIA’s 2012 Year End Survey:

  • We have currently 326.4 million subscribers in the U.S.
  • Annual wireless voice minutes exceeded 2.3 trillion along with 1.468 trillion MB of data and 2.19 trillion text messages.
  • Users are making approximately 400,000 E-911 calls daily across the U.S.
  • Over 38% of the U.S. households are wireless only.

Who's involved?

Joint Venture Board Champion: Minnie Ingersoll, Product Manager, Google

Co-Chair: Pete Constant, San Jose City Counsel

Co-Chair: Dr. Edwin Tasch, Chief of Neurology, Santa Clara Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente

Our project is guided by a Steering Committee Council consisting of:

  • Leon Beauchman, AT&T
  • David Casas, VP Community and Government Relations, Intero Real Estate
  • Angela D’Anna, External Affairs, AT&T
  • Jon Dohm, Zoning Manager West Area, Crown Castle
  • Lennies Guiterrez, Comcast
  • Siiri Hage, Director of Marketing Communications, Anritsu Company
  • Mike Hill, Municipal Relations, Extenet Systems
  • Sharon James, Manager Government Relations, Crown Castle
  • Eric Reed, Vice President – Entertainment & Tech Policy, Verizon
  • Randall Schwabacher, Manager, Small Cell Deployment, NorCal, AT&T Mobility
  • Glen Williams, Director, Santa Clara County Office of Asset and Economic Development
  • David Witkowski, Wireless Communications Alliance

Latest Developments

  • Third Annual Broadband & Wireless Roundtable held on April 9, 2014 at the Cupertino Community Hall. Panelist included Sunnyvale Vice-Mayor Jim Davis, David Vossbrink from San Jose, Marc Blakeman from AT&T, and Doug Nolan from Comcast. The roundtable focused on how communities can be “fiber ready” for new and improved broadband networks. There was also an update on the current rulemaking proceeding at the Federal Communications Commission. View the presentation slides.
  • Filed Comments at the Federal Communications Commission for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Docket 13-238 covering 4 areas: Distributed Antenna System (DAS)/Small Cell Regulatory Reform, Temporary Tower Regulatory Reform, Section 6409 ("Collocation by right"), and Input on the 2009 Declaratory Ruling (“Shot Clock”). View comments.

What are the next steps?

  • We will be recruiting additional members for the Initiative and organizations can contact us to find out more about the Initiative and the future of wireless communications.
  • We will be contributing to open state and federal proceedings in order to support changes in law that will encourage faster, cheaper, and more wireless and broadband infrastructure.
  • Wireless Roundtables and Symposiums will be held annually. As needed, we also will meet with specific local jurisdictions to share information about the how small adaptations can have a positive impact on Silicon Valley’s wireless and broadband infrastructure.
  • Steering Committee Meetings are held Wednesday mornings every six weeks.

Where do I find out more?

To learn more about the initiative, or to join the team, contact:

Natasha Ernst
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Joint Venture's Wireless Communications Initiative brings together wireless service providers, cities, businesses and users to improve wireless service in the Valley.

Wireless Publications

Cell Phone Usage

Minutes of Cell Phone Use in the U.S. Exceeded 2.275 Trillion in 2009, a 3.3%  year-over-year growth

Source: CTIA, the Wireless Association, www.ctia.org

Wireless Initiative Partners

  • Anritsu
  • AT&T
  • Comcast
  • Crown Castle
  • Extenet Systems
  • Intero Real Estate
  • Santa Clara County Office of Asset and Economic Development
  • Verizon
  • Wireless Communications Alliance