Sacramento's 5G Broadband Bet - Route Fifty

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg began talks with Verizon to bring fifth-generation wireless to the city shortly after his 2016 election, finalizing a deal in June that some broadband experts view as more of a gamble.

Steinberg’s administration didn’t want to simply demonstrate a new technology but establish a long-term partnership installing sustainable, 5G infrastructure throughout California’s capital city.

Sacramento’s aggressive negotiation timeline ensured the city will be one of 5G broadband’s first adopters while, at heart, the public-private partnership brings another major service provider to town in exchange for up to $2 million in deferred lease revenue on 101 small cell sites over the next decade.

“We’re willing to take a reasonable amount of risk to do something really great for our community and shake it up in a significant way,” Maria MacGunigal, Sacramento’s chief information officer, told Route Fifty in a phone interview. “Hopefully this will generate excitement from other carriers to want to invest.”

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