An independent working group of residents formed to provide recommendations for improved cellular communication on Longboat Key has suggested the town work toward attaining a new fiber optic system for the Key that will improve any perceived cellular coverage gaps.
Longboat Key Wireless Work Group spokesperson Ed Krepela sent an email to the Longboat Key Town Commission Thursday, explaining the working group favors a fiber optic system called Heterogeneous Network 'HetNet,” explaining the selection was based on statistical data, analysis and technical research.
“A HetNet service recognizes the need of flexibility and permits adding cells of various sizes to existing networks (seamlessly) with the same or separate spectrums,” Krepela wrote. “Additionally this design is the most effective and cost-efficient way to boost available capacity in certain locations and provide uniform coverage in areas where it's lacking.”
Krepela said the “heart of the system is a spine of fiber optic cables” that provides the necessary capacity, bandwidth and backhaul for no less than five service providers.
“The spine of fiber strands would run down Gulf of Mexico Drive the full length of the island and then through very robust and waterproof junction boxes distributed to the side roads where necessary, or on the FPL poles for small cell or Distributed Antenna System (DAS) utilization,” Krepela wrote. “The cable could be strung from FPL pole to pole, be deep trenched as was the Verizon installation, or put in place via a relatively new procedure called micro-trenching.”
Krepela said this type of system would boost coverage capacity and adapt to future cellular technology.
“The work group encourages the Longbeach Village to retain an engineering consultant such as the Wireless Network Laboratory of the University of Florida,” Krepela wrote.
The work group's mission is to identify, research and recommend a unified island-wide solution to the commission.
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].