Within the city construct there are a lot of considerations to delivering "Smart Solutions and Services". In this white paper we will explore the opportunities and benefits from a foundational perspective of connectivity strategies that leverage Fiber as the backbone for “Smart” service delivery.
Since the initial use of Fiber Optic Cable in the mid 70’s to connect US Government computers, we have seen an increase over the years in the use of fiber networking. However, it has not been as broadly recognized until recently just how integral the fiber backbone is to reliable, resilient broadband communications infrastructure is for the future of cities and municipalities alike.
While fiber networks are not new, the technology has continued to advance, and they are indeed the catalyst to just about every use case where “Smart” is included, supporting critical infrastructure and beyond. Fiber networks are not just for the purpose of faster internet, but think about latency sensitive solutions such as traffic monitoring and general multi-modal transportation, first responder services in the city and likewise utility distribution services to improve utility reliability and outage management.
Pre-pandemic, cities across North America were deploying Municipal Wi-Fi as a means of improving connectivity and access for citizens. These municipal networks often times leverage city deployed fiber but were typically only in the metropolitan downtown areas. This was shown to be an oversight, as with a bit more consideration, additional investment and partnership, the thousands of underserved citizens could have benefited from connectivity where there was none. Distance learning and the huge uptick in bandwidth utilization due to the pandemic have caused cities to rethink their connectivity strategy. Fiber networks, again, are the supporting foundation to service delivery to the cities and communities at large
Smart city solutions across the board depend on reliable communications infrastructure. For each application there is an endpoint that then requires the data to be backhauled to the cloud. Data analysis for any real-time insights depends heavily on receiving the data in a timely fashion, edge computing and the analytic insights will falter without the speed and throughput delivered by a fiber backbone.
Written by Bill Pugh of Smart Connections Consulting
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