Verizon adds Panama City to list of 5G cities after Hurricane Michael

Utility workers clear a path for new electrical cable after the line was damaged by Hurricane Michael on Oct. 20 in Panama City, Florida.

Scott Olson/Techhnews

Verizon has added Panama City, Florida, to the list of US cities that will get first crack at its 5G broadband service, as the area tries to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

The Category 4 storm, with 155-mile-per-hour winds, made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Oct. 10. It tore down electrical wires and ripped apart fiber networks needed for delivering broadband and mobile phone service.

Verizon said Wednesday that it has committed $25 million toward wireless infrastructure in the area, which will now include the superspeedy 5G technology. Panama City joins Los Angeles, Houston, Indianapolis and Sacramento in getting early access to the next generation of wireless technology, which promises heightened speeds, superior responsiveness and better coverage.

5G is seen as the foundational technology for other areas, like self-driving cars and streaming virtual reality, and it starts with these early deployments.

Verizon’s 5G home broadband service, Verizon 5G Home, launched in select areas on Oct. 1 at a cost of $50 for Verizon Wireless customers and $70 for customers who don’t use Verizon Wireless. The company is promising home broadband speeds from 300 megabits per second up to 1 gigabit per second.

5G: Your Next Big Upgrade: Techhnews’s series on the next generation of cellular technology.

The 5G revolution: Everything you need to know about the wireless technology.

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