CTDOT announces public-private partnership to enhance phone and internet service on New Haven Line

Along with AT&T’s small cell installations along the rail line, new rails cars will be equipped with roof-top antennas to enhance cellular connectivity.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has announced AT&T has committed to continue working with the state’s newly created Council on 5G Technology, the governor’s office and CTDOT to enhance service, expand 5G in the state and small cell installations along the rail line.  

AT&T announced in November 2019 that the company’s 5G network will soon launch over low-band spectrum in several New England cities, including Bridgeport. 

“By partnering with telecommunications companies like AT&T and giving them the ability to install their necessary equipment on state property, we can expand internet access to more residents, including commuters of our rail lines,” said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont. “Families will be able to connect with each other more reliably on the train ride to and from work, meaning mom and dad can have a video chat with their kids and the signal won’t stop due to poor coverage. These kinds of investments will boost productivity and significantly contribute to Connecticut’s already high quality of life, all while making the state more attractive to future employers. Once again, this is another example of a public-private partnership we were able to create that will benefit our residents while doing so in a cost-effective manner. I thank AT&T for working with us and taking the initiative on this project.” 

In addition to AT&T’s small cell installations along the rail line, 132 new rail cars purchased as part of Gov. Lamont’s CT2030 proposal will be designed in partnership with industry experts and equipped with roof-top antennas that enhance cellular connectivity by amplifying 4G and 5G signals throughout the cars. This approach allows railroad operators to focus on their core mission of providing safe and reliable train service, while keeping responsibility for cellular and internet coverage with the service providers. 

“CT2030 envisions a rail service that is faster, more frequent and more reliable,” said Joseph Giulietti, Connecticut Department of Transportation commissioner. “Our plan includes the purchase of 132 rail cars and 30 locomotives that will be critical to making Gov. Lamont’s vision a reality. We have begun listening to our customers and rail advocates to understand what they would like: more comfort, work tables, better lighting, charging for mobile devices and enhanced connectivity – and we plan to deliver.”  

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