The Metropolis of Pittsburgh will quickly start putting in its first unified fiber optic connectivity community

That City of Pittsburgh closed his $10 million deal with crown lock to create the city’s first unified fiber optic connectivity network.

The Texas-based communications infrastructure provider will bring together Pittsburgh’s 131 city facilities, including emergency response centers and recreation centers, to create a single network, more than half of which previously operated on separate institutional networks. The goal is to improve access to public safety and enable a public Wi-Fi system in the future.

Terry Cummingssaid general manager of corporate fiber for Crown Castle Technically that although a full installation will take at least a year, some parts of the network will be operational in 120 days with the city’s approval.

“Once this one [sites] deployed, they really align with the city’s goal of modernizing infrastructure and adding technology capacity,” Cummings said. “I think residents and voters will see that things like this get improved.”

The fiber optic connectivity network is part of the NetPGH Initiative presented in 2020 after the Federal Communications Commission issued an executive order requiring all cities to pay for institutional networks provided by cable franchise operators. Under the then mayor Bill Pedutothe city determined that its previous method of providing connectivity across multiple providers would be prohibitively expensive, and the Innovation & Performance department started a tendering process for a uniform network. Crown Castle was selected for the $10 million contract in August 2021.

“Our agreement with Crown Castle will create a more resilient city government, improve our ability to serve the public and promote digital justice,” said Mayor @billpeduto.

“I want to thank @PghIP for their leadership in the NetPGH initiative.”

— Office of the Mayor (@TheNextPGH) August 23, 2021

Although the rollout took place under a different administration, Cummings Castle Crown and Mayor Ed Gainey’s team had a similar vision for the network.

“We haven’t really missed a moment in our talks with the change of government,” Cummings said. “We are working with members of the Cabinet to ensure the outcomes of the project align with Mayor Gainey’s priorities.”

The fiber optic connectivity network gives users more speed and allows them to use more technologies on the network. The network also offers scalable infrastructure, meaning it doesn’t need to be constantly replaced to make room for technology upgrades.

Additionally, the city will be able to manage the network through its own electrical mesh architecture and will therefore not be at the mercy of traditional ISPs who control it. In the long run, Cummings said, the city will be able to better plan its budget going forward knowing it’s committed to this method of connectivity for the next decade.

“Our vision here and in other markets,” said the Crown Castle director, “as we provide infrastructure in the subways and in all subway neighborhoods, we see more opportunities for residents to benefit from it because the.” Fiber optics are closer to where they are today. And there is an ecosystem of service providers using networks like this to serve those components with technologies we know today.”

In addition to the network, the NetPGH plan allowed for the expansion of the Rec2Tech initiative, a program aimed at placing STEM programming in recreation centers throughout Pittsburgh, as well as the Smart Corridors Initiative aimed at improving traffic efficiency and prioritizing transit vehicle mobility.

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the Groundtruth Project that connects young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Foundation. -30-

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