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Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network announces test cities for Wireless Silicon Valley Initiative

Also assembling user groups for emergency response, transportation, and 5.9 GHz wireless services

February 14, 2007 – Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network today announced that the City of Palo Alto and the City of San Carlos have agreed to become the first sites of the Concept City Phase of the Joint Venture Wireless Silicon Valley Network.

Silicon Valley Metro Connect, a collaboration of IBM, Cisco Systems, SeaKay and Azulstar, will build out a one-square mile area in each city to demonstrate and test the capabilities of the wireless equipment and applications that will be implemented as part of the Silicon Valley-wide wireless broadband network that will be the heart of the Joint Venture Wireless Silicon Valley effort.

Frank Benest, City Manager for the City of Palo Alto said, “Palo Alto has always been at the cutting edge of cities using technology to upgrade and enhance services for the public, and this is no exception.”

“As a charter member of Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, the City of San Carlos has been proud to play an early role in several of the group’s signature projects over the years, including Net Day, Smart Voter, Challenge 2000 and Smart Permit,” said Brian Moura, Assistant City Manager, San Carlos and Chairman of the San Mateo Telecommunications Authority (SAMCAT). “We are proud to have been selected as one of the Concept Cities for Joint Venture’s Wireless Silicon Valley Initiative. We look forward to working with Silicon Valley Metro Connect, the 41 participating entities, Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network, SAMCAT and our residents and businesses to move this exciting initiative from concept to reality in the next 120 days.”

A series of 30 to 45 "access points" will be installed on city street lights and buildings in each of the Concept Cities for up to 120 days to study the topography and radio frequency (RF) requirements of the proposed Wireless Broadband Network. The Concept City areas will demonstrate the network’s infrastructure layout, and potential uses to residents and businesses, as well as city and county officials throughout the region. The network will not be open to the general public during the initial portion of the test phase.

Joint Venture’s Wireless Silicon Valley Initiative also announced that it is exploring the formation of the first Wireless Users Groups to broaden the capabilities of the wireless broadband network:

The Intelligent Transportations Systems User Group will bring together automotive company research centers located in Silicon Valley with regional transportation agencies and Metro Connect engineers. The group will explore applications of wireless networks for traffic management and safety using both the Wireless Broadband Network of the initiative and the 5.9 GHz frequency available to the automotive industry for such applications.

The Emergency Response User Group will invite existing regional emergency communications organizations to team up with the Wireless Silicon Valley Task Force and the Silicon Valley Metro Connect team. This group will collaborate on the design of the network and help ensure that it meets the needs of public safety organizations.

“The formation of these users groups is really exciting,” said Dan Fenton, President and CEO of the San Jose Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “The network is going to attract entrepreneurs from all over the world to test out their ideas for new wireless products, applications, and services. Silicon Valley offers a truly unique platform of technology and people for exploring new paradigms that bridge social benefit and economic development.”

In parallel to the work going on in the Concept Cities, the Wireless Silicon Valley Task Force that is overseeing the project and Silicon Valley Metro Connect continue to work toward finalizing a model agreement and an enhanced services agreement for the use of services on the wireless broadband network by the public agencies. The Task Force is also planning to form a regional Joint Powers Authority to provide long term oversight for the program.

More than just a promise of a pervasive wireless broadband network Joint Venture’s Wireless Silicon Valley Initiative will ultimately connect all the communities of Silicon Valley at broadband speeds. The network will enable enhanced efficiency and renewed economic vitality for Wireless Silicon Valley’s member entities and their diverse constituents.

“Silicon Valley has always been on the cutting edge of invention,” said Joint Venture CEO Russell Hancock. Now Silicon Valley is the first to implement a seamless wireless network on a regional scale.”

To view maps of the planned test areas in Palo Alto and San Carlos, visit:

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