A proposed AT&T cell tower site at the Sonora Fire Department station would pave the way for high-speed wireless Internet in the area, according to the telecommunication company.
The Sonora City Council at Monday night’s meeting heard a presentation from AT&T officials regarding the local benefits that would come from the construction of the new site, including positioning the city for future network upgrades.
The company could upgrade its current network from 3G to LTE, which is on average five to seven times faster and comparable to speeds of fiber-optic data lines, said Eric Johnson, executive director of external affairs for AT&T.
“This, I believe, gets Sonora where it wants to go with high-speed access,” he said.
Johnson hinted that the faster network could be up and running by the end of the year after the cell site is put in place.
Other benefits the cell site could provide include increased coverage and performance and revenue for the city, Johnson added.
The site would improve reception for the Sonora Fire Department and AT&T wireless customers in the surrounding area.
Lease payments for renting the site at the fire station would also provide incremental revenue for the city, Johnson said.
The exact amount was not revealed because City Administrator Tim Miller said a draft of the company’s lease is still being reviewed.
The lease will have to be approved by the council at a future meeting.