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  • Writer's pictureBobbi Harris

Utilities Telecom and Smart Cities

Updated: Mar 16, 2019

Today I had the chance to speak at the International Wireless Conference and Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas about a key subject. Smart Cities get a lot of hype and there is certainly no shortage of webinars, summits, articles ... and blogs on the subject. 

To add my perspective, I spoke at IWCE to an audience of leaders from utilities, cities, development offices and technology providers. 

Smart Cities are built around the people in those communities.  The systems that enable consumers to be smarter users of energy, water and natural gas and to use renewables sources such as solar energy, should be simple and carefree for consumers. BUT smart communities require smart utilities and real-time communications infrastructure is the backbone of every smart utility. Technological advancements and the diminishing cost of IT infrastructure have created the potential for an “Internet of Things,” a ubiquitous network of connected devices, smart sensors, and big data analytics. 

Successfully deploying these and other new approaches often depends on new regional collaborations among a diverse array of public and private actors, including industry, academia, and various public entities. From sensor networks and cybersecurity to investments in broadband infrastructure and intelligent transportation systems, there is a large portfolio of activities that can provide a strong foundation for a Smart Cities effort. 

Smart appliances and other technologies will give consumers more control over their water & electric usage, fundamentally transforming how utilities interact with their customer base. Smart utility infrastructure requires real-time communications and smart cities require smart utilities. The true enabler of a smart city is the communications network that provides two-way capabilities for moving data between the utility and consumers.

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