East Palo Alto Neighborhood Innovation Zone

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East Palo Alto Neighborhood Innovation Zone
GCTC logo 344x80.png
East Palo Alto is centered on the community
Team Organizations Joint Venture Silicon Valley
Comodo CA
NextLevel Networks
American Tower Corp.
Team Leaders Mohammad Shakouri
Participating Municipalities San Mateo CA
East Palo Alto CA
Status Launched
Document None



  • 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

  • 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

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

  • 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

  • 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.