California City Converts Its Street Lights Into A High-Speed IoT Backbone


Harvard Law professor Susan Crawford describes how the city of Santa Monica installed its own high-speed IoT backbone on its street lights and traffic signals — and why it’s important. Neutral “micro” cell sites can make very high-capacity wireless transmissions available, competitively, to everyone (and every sensor) nearby. This can and should cause an explosion of options and new opportunities for economic growth, innovation, and human flourishing in general… Very few American cities have carried out this transmogrification, but every single one will need to. Santa Monica…is a city that will be able to control its future digital destiny, because it is taking a comprehensive, competition-forcing approach to the transmission of data… Cities that get control of their streetlights and connect them to municipally overseen, reasonably priced dark fiber can chart their own Internet of Things futures, rather than leave their destinies in the hands of vendors whose priorities are driven (rationally) by the desire to control whole markets and keep share prices and dividends high rather than provide public benefits. Santa Monica’s CIO warns that now telecoms “are looking for exclusive rights to poles and saying they can’t co-locate [with their competitors]. They’re all hiring firms to lock up their permits and rights to as many poles as possible, as quickly as possible, before governments can organize.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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California City Converts Its Street Lights Into A High-Speed IoT Backbone


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