Texas power provider to build 900 MHz broadband network
The Lower Colorado River Authority ( LCRA ), one of the largest public power providers in Texas , will purchase 900 MHz broadband licenses from public broadband provider Anterix to deploy a wireless broadband system .
The agreement covers 68 counties and more than 30 cities in LCRA ’ s wholesale electric , transmission and water service areas .
THE NETWORK WILL PROVIDE A HOST OF UPGRADES THAT WILL BENEFIT LCRA AND OUR CUSTOMERS BY SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVING DATA TRANSMISSION , OVERALL COMMUNICATION CAPABILITIES AND RESILIENCE .
LCRA is the first non-investor-owned utility to pursue 900 MHz private long-term evolution or LTE .
LCRA currently owns and operates a trunked 900 MHz narrowband radio system , which it uses to meet its communication needs throughout its service territory and shares with a wide range of customers .
The new licenses will enable LCRA to move from narrowband to next generation broadband and provide mission-critical data and voice services within LCRA and to more than 100 external customers such as electric co-operatives , schools and transit authorities across more than 73,000 square miles .
Created by the Texas legislature in 1934 , LCRA manages the lower 600 miles of the Colorado River , which provides water to more than 1.4 million people and is one of the largest public power providers in Texas , supplying power to more than 30 retail electric co-operatives and municipalities .
It also owns and operates more than 5,400 miles of transmission lines and operates more than 40 parks .
“ This will help us take our wireless communications system to the next level ,” said Ken Price , CCO , LCRA . “ The network will provide a host of upgrades that will benefit LCRA and our customers by significantly improving data transmission , overall communication capabilities and resilience .”
The agreement marks the first private wireless broadband network in Texas built for critical infrastructure , schools and public transit .
“ LCRA is an exciting and unique customer for Anterix ,” said Rob Schwartz , Anterix President and CEO .
“ Not only does this agreement clear another ‘ complex system ’ but it also adds a new type of customer to our nationwide network of utility networks , as LCRA is a public power generation and transmission utility that is also a water management utility .
“ This agreement highlights the benefits of private LTE beyond the investor-owned electric utility space that has thus far been the major focus of Anterix ’ s efforts . We look forward to working with LCRA and other Texas utilities to support energy resilience and reliability in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas ( ERCOT ) region .” p
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