Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 2017

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:

Contents of this Issue


Page 60 of 66

52 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 BROADBAND APPLICATIONS problems, it is likely to solve many problems. is inspires them to develop such technology in their cities. Putting on my economic development analyst hat (my other day job), I would agree. However, not every city can be a hotbed of technology innovation, and no one city will be a hotbed for all such innovation. But a community that, through luck or diligence, finds a niche that fits its strengths and weaknesses can do well for itself. If a city makes an effort to become a technology development center, having a fiber network can help. It can connect the local players and tie them into support services and potential markets all over the globe. e tension between standardization and customization still remains. Many definitions of a smart city assume the city is an incubator of the technology it uses for civic purposes and of technologies others use for civic and noncivic purposes. ough every city can become smart by focusing on data and technology, I predict many will do so by adopting standard or only lightly customized processes and technologies developed outside the city. Despite all the hype about innovation, it's perfectly OK not to be a technology incubator; the benefits of technology adoption often flow more to those who follow than to those who lead or even develop the technology. For example, almost 40 years ago, the city of Tacoma, Washington, spent a great deal of its own time and money working with NASA and the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest Laboratory to develop an automated fire hydrant. It successfully used wireless technology to open and shut hydrants, but other cities expressed interest in these hydrants only if they had been thoroughly field-tested in some other city first. So Tacoma then worked on field testing and on documentation of those field tests as to the reliability of the device and the benefits actually delivered when it worked. Other cities were the beneficiaries of these efforts. Some 40 years later, cities were still being warned at this conference (and the previous month, at the Broad B and Communities Summit) to check whether any proposed solution actually does what it claims to do and what benefits flow when the solution is put into practice. Indeed, much of US Ignite's effort is focused on developing documented field testing to meet this demand from cities with regard to any application they are not innovating. IMPLICATIONS FOR FTTH ough Smart Cities Connect showed that a community can become at least partially smart without an FTTH network in place, it also showed that development and implementation of smart-city projects are proceeding much faster in places with FTTH and that many of the most exciting applications, especially if they include citizen engagement, require FTTH to work well. Eventually, every fully smart city will be an FTTH city. v Rollie Cole is a senior fellow at the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research. You can reach him at rolliecole@gmail. com. Because data-based management is worth many times more than it costs, becoming a smart city often starts with installing measuring devices and gathering data.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Broadband Communities - AUG-SEP 2017