The Role of High-Speed Internet in Smart Cities

Internet connection is an indisputable necessity in everyday life. Cars, houses, and more are using the power of the internet and combining it with state-of-the-art AI and automation. Now, cities are becoming autonomous with newer technologies to create urban connectivity that’s never been seen before. 

Metropolises around the nation are adopting the term “smart city,” ready to implement automation and connection in unique ways. Here is everything you need to know about this urban phenomenon and how they’re moving interconnectedness and high-speed internet into the future. 

What is a Smart City?

You may have heard the prefix “smart” for all kinds of products released in the 2020s, but what does this term really mean? 

When something (car, phone, speaker set, etc.) has smart in its name, it indicates that the product has revolutionary automation and data analysis. The term is actually an acronym for self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology, and it’s used for any technology that’s symbolic of that criteria. Products that include AI and general machine learning can be classified as “smart” devices. 

So, how does a city get the label of smart? Similarly to new tech, a smart city means the inclusion of automation and machine learning to improve overall efficiency. Unlike a smart car or home, though, a city’s implementation of AI would be to provide better governance and resources for its constituents. 

A city would want to become “smart” for a few significant reasons. Applying advanced technology with automation could create a better quality of life for its citizens, ensuring that information would travel quickly and efficiently to everyone. Smart cities would also have autonomous data analysis for identifying issues quickly, thus providing real-time solutions. Overall, a smart city isn’t defined by how much new tech is being utilized but by the quality of that technology’s analysis and independence. 

Factors of a Smart City

A few key factors determine the label of a smart city: an infrastructure based on automated tech, environmental promises, progressive city plans, efficient public transit, and resources that improve people’s livelihood. A smart city finds its economic growth to be as significant as its ability to provide opportunities to its inhabitants. The interplay of private and public sector life is only advanced by including tech with efficient data analysis, which has caught the attention of city and government officials nationwide. 


What Technology Do Smart Cities Use? 

Metropolitan areas already use a good amount of technology for transit, government buildings, and surveillance. But, increasingly, these cities are utilizing new devices with automation and machine learning to improve their citizens’ quality of life. These cities implement many notable technologies, including surveillance devices, software, and communication services. 

Cities Using Internet of Things (IOT)

Cities are starting with Internet of Things (IOT) to provide smart tech to the public. The IoT defines an interconnected network of devices that utilize high-speed internet for optimal success. This network is responsible for exchanging and receiving data from surveillance cameras, computers, or transportation devices. Data collected from a smart traffic light or sensor can store information in the cloud, which can then be accessed for quick improvements and problem-solving. 

IoT devices use something called edge computing to ensure necessary data is being transferred to the cloud. Edge computing extracts information near or close to the device’s source, allowing for streamlined data collection and lower latency issues. If a city uses IoT, they’ll most likely install a security system so bad actors can’t access any private information. 

With IoT and security, smart cities often implement technology that uses automation, AI, application programming interfaces, machine learning, and/or machine-to-machine connections. Some of these facets may materialize in transport efficiency, better resources, and environmental conservation. 

Smart City Tech Practical Use

An example of a smart city helping its citizens would be a smart parking initiative. Smart parking tech would assess the number of open spots in an era and would be able to send you that information to your smartphone or computer. This would help drivers find adequate real-time parking without spending extra emissions or time circling the block. 

Smart cities are also able to combat the detrimental effects of climate change in ways other urban areas couldn’t before. One way a city would do this could be by installing self-dimming street lights. These lights could turn off and on based on how many cars are on the road at a given time. A city could reduce its carbon footprint if every street had automated light fixtures. These types of initiatives aren’t only helpful for residents but for the entire planet. 

Smart Cities & High-Speed Internet 

Alongside the progression of smart cities nationwide, specific infrastructure is needed to provide comprehensive and longstanding success. The most obvious necessity for automated cities is efficient, broadband internet that both the public and private sectors can utilize. High-speed internet is the key to absolute automation and rapid data transfer, but how does a city provide this for its officials and the general public? 

A massive transfer of data can only be stabilized by a solidified backbone for internet stability. Fiber optic cable is the most efficient and high-grade system for WiFi. These cables transfer signals via electrical signals, significantly benefiting smart cities and their inhabitants. 

Fiber Optic Cable High-Speed Internet

The apparent reason cities would want to include more fiber optics in their infrastructure is the unparalleled speed at which they can transfer data. Fiber cables send data at the speed of light, helping to reduce latency issues. The fast data transfer also allows for real-time updates and changes, necessary for smart cities with automated street lights, traffic updates, parking apps, etc. 

Fiber optic cables also have an unprecedented amount of bandwidth compared to their predecessor, copper cables. This means excessive amounts of data can be sent simultaneously without latency or malfunctions. Since thousands of people would be using the same internet in a smart city, it’s critical to have a connectivity motive that supports a high influx of activity and data. 

Because of their lightning-fast abilities, fiber optic cables have gained significant traction in cities throughout the United States. These cables are the only electrical connection that can deliver high-speed internet under significant usage, making them increasingly popular for initiatives like energy conservation. Their bandwidth allows surveillance cameras, traffic reports, and traffic management to work simultaneously, completely transforming public safety. With the fiber optic cable market growing year after year, it’s clear that these electrical cables are the future for individual households and progressive cities ready to tackle automation and machine learning.