The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

VIDA to become Gig-speed community, a San Antonio first

VIDA to become Gig-speed community, a San Antonio first - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

President Cynthia Teniente-Matson speaks to the Texas A&M University-San Antonio community during the VIDA News Release on Nov. 8 2019. Photo retrieved from A&M-San Antonio Flickr

The VIDA community adjacent to Texas A&M University-San Antonio will be the first community in San Antonio to have access to Gig-Speed internet.

Gretchen Howell, senior vice president of SouthStar Communities, spoke to the A&M-San Antonio community on Sept. 29 during a Power Hour presentation to inform the university community of updates regarding the VIDA project.

Howell shared news of technological advances happening within the VIDA community.

“VIDA will be San Antonio’s first Gig-Speed community,” Howell said during Power Hour. “It’s huge.”

VIDA will be the first and only community in San Antonio to run on a “10-gig microfiber watt,” Howell said. This is the fastest, highest quality of internet available within the U.S.

Howell said SouthStar Communities had been talking about connecting VIDA with the outside world through the internet.

“We had some great conversations about our commitment to bridge a digital divide that had really toughened this area,” Howell said. “We looked at a lot of options and we ultimately came to one that could not be more exciting.”

The Gig-speed community will be powered by solar panels.

“When the lights go out, the connectivity doesn’t stop,” Howell said. “It also allows us as a developer to mitigate our carbon footprint when we’re developing.”

Howell talked about phase one, which includes residential housing. The first homes are expected to be ready in early 2022.

Howell also talked about the Zocalo, the town center which will be used for social gatherings and commercial use and the Madla Greenway, a green space for the community to enjoy, both of which SouthStar Communities will start working on early next year.

President Cynthia Teniente-Matson expressed excitement over the VIDA development after having to postpone it because of the pandemic.

“It’s moving at hyper speed,” Matson said during Power Hour. “We at the university are also being contacted on a regular basis for development options we are sharing with our partners and collaborators… it is an integrated community.” 

As VIDA continues to shape itself, Howell encouraged the university community to get involved and share ideas with SouthStar Communities.

Those who would like to share their suggestions can email VIDA at

About the Author

Daisy Gonzalez-Quezada
Daisy Gonzalez-Quezada is a communication senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She transferred from Allen County Community College in Kansas in 2019. In her spare time, she likes to listen to music and watch either sitcoms or K-dramas. She wants to explore the world as a journalist after graduating.

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