Detroiters Lose Streetlights but Gain 4G Wireless

/ Source: TechNewsDaily

It's a city where 40 percent of the streetlights either don't work or have been turned off to save money, and one in five residents is out of a job.

Things have gotten so bad in parts of the city that entire neighborhoods lay abandoned, and the city's public safety organizations — its fire and police services — prioritize where to offer service as funding dries up. Good news, though: you'll have 4G LTE wireless service while you're there.

Welcome to Detroit.

AT&T is the latest carrier to turn on its 4G LTE network there, providing service to the city itself as well as neighboring Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Verizon has also invested in the city, launching its LTE network there in February 2011 and providing complete coverage for the city.

[SEE ALSO: What is LTE?]

Sprint plans to turn on its LTE network in the city by the end of this year, and T-Mobile's "4G" service, although not LTE, is available to Detroiters.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Brian Calley called AT&T's move to invest in the region part of the state's overall economic comeback, and said it is vital to keeping Michigan — and Detroit — competitive in the global economy.

[SEE ALSO: Can I Get a Smartphone Without a Contract?]

Being connected is one thing, but if residents don't feel safe, that's another. The city itself does have a plan to repair the 3,300 streetlights that are currently out, the mayor's press secretary Naomi Patton told TechNewsDaily.

"The city's public lighting plan is based on providing lights to those currently without them," Patton said.

For most residents, that may be a bigger concern than faster website load times.