BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.
Issue link: http://bbcmag.epubxp.com/i/686592
48 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | MAY/JUNE 2016 BROADBAND APPLICATIONS Going Beyond Broadband Robust fber backbones enable the transformation of broadband communities into smart communities. By Wim Van Daele / iMinds R unning a city is not an easy thing to do. Tere is no silver bullet to make it grow and fourish. Hence, city leaders constantly explore new strategies to keep – and attract – citizens and businesses in an ongoing efort to reinforce cities' socioeconomic fabrics. One such strategy foresees a competitive advantage in the availability of high-speed broadband. In the United States, this has led to the creation of tens of fber-fed, gigabit towns and cities – not to mention the many other places where U.S. citizens have access to broadband speeds of 100 Mbps and more. But why restrict the strategy to ofering high-speed broadband? Te fber infrastructure in which broadband communities have invested over the years could be used for so much more! Tis is being demonstrated on the other side of the pond, in the Belgian city of Antwerp. In the 1990s, Antwerp was one of the frst cities in Europe to invest in fber infrastructure. Today, that infrastructure has proven to be a major asset, helping the city position itself as one of Europe's most ambitious smart city laboratories. Branded Antwerp City of Tings, the project includes tens of thousands of sensors and connected devices built on the city's underlying broadband infrastructure that will improve the way Antwerp citizens will live and work for years to come. TWO SMART CITY USE CASES Antwerp City of Tings is a large-scale laboratory that aims to enable more than 500,000 Antwerp citizens to communicate and interact with a huge number of smart devices and sensors, connected through the Internet of Tings (IoT). Two smart city use cases are already being developed in Antwerp. First, a number of cars from the Belgian postal services provider, bpost, were equipped with sensors to measure the city's air quality in real time. In the second experiment, sensors were installed to measure trafc on two predetermined routes. "We can start to tap into the Internet of Tings' full potential – opening up a world in which everything is connected," says Bart De Wever, mayor of Antwerp. "When the bpost vehicles cross those trafc routes, we can examine the relationship between trafc and air quality. And that's just the beginning. We want to connect a lot of sensors so we can efciently gather loads of intelligent information about what is going on in Antwerp. Tat is information we can then use to make living in Antwerp an even more enjoyable experience." CUSTOMIZED IOT TECHNOLOGY Efcient IoT communications requires a network that can overcome sensors' inherent limitations, such as memory storage capacity and battery lifetime. Having a robust and reliable high-speed broadband infrastructure in place is the frst requirement to enrich a town with smart city applications. After all, sensor input needs to be transported to the right location, where data