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By the End of 2018, Sacramento Will Become First U.S. City with 5G Broadband

With Verizon's deal, Sacramento will become the first U.S. city to establish 5G infrastructure throughout.

(TNS) — Verizon plans to make Sacramento the first city in the U.S. to have 5G wireless network support, the company announced Wednesday.

The residential broadband network will be deployed in the second half of 2018, according to a Verizon news release, with setups in two to four more cities expected to follow shortly thereafter. Sacramento was the first of 11 cities Verizon picked to sample its fifth-generation Internet access speed in summer 2017, and city leaders made it clear they wanted more.

The Sacramento City Council signed off on a deal in June allowing Verizon to secure small cell towers on 101 utility poles, expand their fiber-optic capacity and move quickly through the municipal permitting process. In exchange, the company committed to establishing 5G infrastructure throughout the city and installing free Wi-Fi at 27 parks, among other amenities.

Mayor Darryl Steinberg previously told the Bee he hoped being one of the first cities with 5G would help Sacramento draw more tech start-ups from the Bay Area.

5G service connects radio signals from small cell towers instead of relying on copper or fiber-optic cables, and is expected to be mainstream by 2020. Verizon’s trial runs showed speeds of up to 40 times faster than 4G — quick enough to download a full-length film in 15 seconds.

©2017 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.