Tag Archives: economic development administration

Cellular sites have no impact on property values

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Noise level does not equate to economic impact. Cellular tower opponents talk a lot (including on their mobile phones – go figure) and can be extremely disruptive at public meetings. Not to mention the damage they do to broadband improvement efforts. But their bark has no bite in the Silicon Valley real estate market.

Joint Venture Silicon Valley has completed a study of the impact of cellular sites on property values in Palo Alto, Redwood City, Saratoga and San Jose. Bottom line: proximity to a wireless tower has zero, zilch, zip, nada effect on the selling price of single family homes.

The study looked at 70 wireless sites and examined more than 1,600 transactions, with the assistance of the Santa Clara and San Mateo County Realtors Associations. They compared the difference between the initial asking price of a home with the eventual selling price. The spread was the same regardless of how close or not the home was to a tower.

Comparisons were made over nine months, from January to September 2012. Homes as far away as half a mile from a cellular site had the same ask/sell spread as homes right next to one.

The study was presented by Leon Beauchman, the director of JVSV’s wireless communications initiative, at their second annual wireless symposium, held on 2 November 2012 at Marvell Semiconductor Inc. headquarters in Santa Clara.

The initiative is aimed at improving mobile broadband coverage in Silicon Valley, with a goal of making 4G service “available from major carriers in half of Silicon Valley cities by 2014.”

EDA opens new source for broadband funding with $2 million for San Leandro conduit

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The City of San Leandro will fill in key gaps in broadband availability in industrial and commercial areas, thanks to a $2.1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The press release is here.

As far as we can tell, this award is the first ever given by EDA for a community broadband project, with credit largely due to the City’s economic and business development staff. They worked closely with the EDA to develop the innovative framework required and to meet the stringent requirements of the program. Tellus Venture Associates assisted staff during the process.

The money comes from EDA’s Public Works Economic Development Assistance program. It will pay for 7.5 miles of conduit, which will be connected to the City’s existing infrastructure. The new conduit will make it possible for Lit San Leandro, a privately funded fiber optic system, to extend the reach of its 11 mile network to more than 18 miles. The work is expected to be completed within a year.

Lit San Leandro, the brainchild of Dr. Pat Kennedy, the CEO of San Leandro-based OSIsoft, offers dark fiber and lit broadband services up to 10 Gbps to businesses along the existing route. The City and Lit San Leandro are working in partnership, with the City leasing conduit to the venture.

Thanks to this project, San Leandro is home to the fastest library in California. The main library is connected to the Lit San Leandro network and has clocked speeds in excess of 300 Mbps. It can do even better – right now, the limitation comes from the ability of computers to handle high data speeds, not from the network itself.

The new conduit will largely complete the job of making 21st Century broadband available to San Leandro’s industrial land. The three areas targeted – Doolittle/Adams, Marina/Catalina, Alvarado/Teagarden – were identified in a study conducted by Tellus Venture Associates, which has served as a consultant to the City throughout the negotiation and implementation phases of the Lit San Leandro project.

The study resulted in the approval by the San Leandro City Council last month of a strategic plan for commercial and industrial broadband development. Other action items identified include bringing additional fiber and wireless access to Downtown San Leandro, offering business assistance grants for broadband projects and adopting broadband-friendly planning, public works and community development policies.

Learn more by watching the San Leandro “Get Connected!” video.