Verizon to boost data network for inauguration
Verizon announced on Wednesday that it will be boosting its data network in Washington on Jan. 20 for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration in anticipation of the massive crowds expected in the city.
The company announced that it would be boosting its data capacity by 500 percent and using a device that will allow engineers to remotely adjust the network’s antennae in order to follow crowds.
The inauguration will serve as the debut for the new technology, called Remote Electrical Tilt (RET) antennas. Nicola Palmer, Verizon’s chief network officer, said in a statement that RETs will be deployed widely later in the year.
“We’ve been preparing our network in the D.C. area for months to be ready for this historic event,” Palmer said. “Verizon customers at the inauguration will be using Instagram, SnapChat, and Twitter to share photos and videos of the swearing in ceremony, run Facebook Live while attending the parade, and connect with folks back home, all from their wireless devices.”
Verizon has not released a figure for how much they are planning to spend on the Inauguration Day project.
AT&T also announced in December that it was boosting its own coverage for the inauguration, spending $15 million to quintuple its network capacity for the city on that day.
City officials are expecting about a million people to attend the inauguration, and are also anticipating a large protest of Trump’s swearing in.
Karen Schulz, a spokeswoman for Verizon, told The Hill that the network improvements in the area will be used to enhance the data capabilities for any crowds in the area, regardless of whether they are protesting or attending the inauguration.
“The coverage and capacity enhancements as well as the technological advancements to help better serve the crowds — whether temporary or permanent — will be available to everyone using Verizon service in the area,” Schulz said.
Schulz added that the temporary network enhancements would be in place the day after the inauguration, when at 200,000 people are expected to join in on a massive women’s protest march against Trump.
This story was updated at 3:11 p.m.