East Palo Alto Neighborhood Innovation Zone

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East Palo Alto Neighborhood Innovation Zone
GCTC logo 344x80.png
Team Members Joint Venture Silicon Valley; Comodo CA; NextLevel Networks; American Tower Corp.
Point of Contact Mohammad Shakouri
Participating Municipality County of San Mateo, CA
Status Launched


  • PPP demonstration project leveraging fiber optic, smart poles and wireless technologies (CBRS, Wi-Fiber, TIP Open Network, etc.) for connecting underserved neighborhoods.
  • Coalition between non-profits, municipals, and corporations to improve broadband for public good.
  • Focus on connecting community centers, service organizations, and local government facilities.


  • Incumbent utilities may see this project as overbuild.
  • City government is concerned about broadband creating gentrification, changing neighborhood character.


  • Position project as a wireless technology demonstrator.
  • Focus on existing community centers, service organizations. Position the project as supportive, not disruptive.

Major Requirements[edit]

  • Phase 1:
  1. Identify target community centers and service organization locations.
  2. Meet with East Palo Alto city leaders to secure buy-in, rights-of-way, permitting, etc..
  3. Secure spaces in county government IT center for equip.
  4. Secure commitments from corporate partners; identify funding sources and financial plans.
  • Phase 2:
  1. Construction of fiber path through city.
  2. Construction of wireless nodes along fiber path.
  3. Construction of wireless nodes at user locations.

Performance Targets[edit]

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Measurement Methods
  • Connect at least 20 community centers and service organizations.
  • Construct 8,000 linear feet of fiber.
  • Provide 10 Gbps service to all user sites.
  • Targets/KPIs are not subjective.
  • # of sites connected.
  • Construction complete.
  • Service data rate is met.

Standards, Replicability, Scalability, and Sustainability[edit]

  • Project uses COTS technologies, replicable by other communities.
  • Scalability is limited by fiber capacity and available RF spectrum – additional fiber and RF channel planning to create scalability.
  • Project is sustainable via a shared Multi-Use Converged Infrastructure for the deployment of free public Wi-Fi, Private LTE, enhanced county operational networks, including the delivery of cellular and other third party services.

Cybersecurity and Privacy[edit]

  • Project will leverage NIST cybersecurity framework and GCTC cybersecurity advisory committee resources.
  • The solution also takes away the risk of any unknown or unwanted devices getting onto a community network because of the ability to use PKI to perform mutual authentication of an IoT device to the correct corresponding community IoT network.


  • East Palo Alto CA is an economically-challenged area with a high population of residents at or below poverty. Project will allow community groups and service organizations to better serve residents and reallocate funds currently committed for broadband service.


  • Subject to timing, project will be able to report on Phase 1 completion and progress on Phase 2 work.
  • Municipal leaders may be able to attend.

In segment Wireless

Year Started 2018