NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont announced his latest improvement to Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure. It won’t get you where you’re going any faster, but it should make your phone work faster while you’re getting there.
Lamont continues to roll out what he calls his CT 2030 plan. Today the focus was on the trains to New York City.
“I want to get there faster,” Lamont said at a press conference at New Haven’s Union Station. “I want to get there with easier frequency, and I don’t want to waste my time on the way there.”
He is not talking about how busy and congested the trains are, but about how busy and congested cell phone towers are.
“Just from 2007 to 2018, data traffic on AT&T’s network alone grew some 407,000%,” said John Emra, the Connecticut President of AT&T. “People are using their phones more and more and more and more.”
That has contributed to areas along parts of the train tracks near the New York State line where cell reception is spotty at best. So AT&T and other cell phone carriers are planning to upgrade their equipment all along the New Haven line’s tracks to wipe out the dead spots and improve overall cellular performance.
“I think it’s an excellent idea, for sure,” said Manchester resident Hamza Salameh as he waited for his train.
“I do think it would be a valuable service to the people that commute, especially those that commute every day,” said Mary Peteros of Hebron.
The reason people lose cell service is that some wealthy people in Fairfield County fight against what they say are ugly cell phone towers in their communities. The future 5th generation of cell phones will require even more transponders.
Lamont, who is from Greenwich, says his neighbors will not mind.
“Look, these are not big cell towers in your back yard,” said Lamont. “These are transponders that are going to be all along the Metro North location, so that starting off on Metro North we can have 4G and then 5G access.”
The plan is to upgrade the whole length of the New Haven line to 4G service in the next year, and then 5G a couple year after that.