January 6, 2020

Senator Haskell Joins Governor Lamont for Launch of AT&T Partnership for High-Speed Connections on the New Haven Line

NORWALK – Today, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Westport) joined state leaders including Governor Ned Lamont and business executives from AT&T to announce the launch of a new public-private partnership between the state and the telecommunications company to deploy high-speed connection technology along the New Haven Line, providing those traveling between Connecticut and New York City with a modern, up-to-date commuting experience.

“Commuters have waited long enough for the ability to commute efficiently. I spend a lot of mornings at train stations, chatting with those who sit on the train every morning and every evening. They want to be efficient with their time, and they’re tired of service dead zones along the route to Manhattan. That’s why I’ve fought for improved connectivity since my first day in the Senate, and I’m overjoyed to see this partnership become a reality at no cost to taxpayers,” said Sen. Haskell. “Our commuters need services that match our modern expectations. This gets us that much closer, and helps attract the next generation of workers.”

“Here in Connecticut, we are thinking about infrastructure differently than other states, and that includes access to high-speed internet networks,” Governor Lamont said. “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. 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.”

“Improving the ability of residents and businesses to connect to high-speed networks is critical in our efforts to spur economic growth and job creation,” Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner David Lehman said. “Public-private partnerships like this will go a long way to strengthening our state, and I applaud AT&T for their commitment on working with us to make our state an even better place to work and live.”

The state and AT&T, in collaboration, will use the state right-of-way along the rail line available for the installation of small cell nodes, providing better coverage and higher data speeds to customers while traveling. The enhanced services will provide 4G LTE service in the present; in the future, AT&T will have the capacity to upgrade to 5G speeds.

In addition to the partnership, AT&T will continue to work closely with the state Council on 5G Technology, Lamont’s office and the Department of Transportation for enhanced services and expanded 5G availability in Connecticut. Further, more than 100 new rail cars would be purchased as part of the CT2030 proposal, equipped with rooftop antennas that would amplify service throughout the cars.