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Two California cities announce smart city plans

Sacramento and Fresno, California have both announced partnerships with the wireless industry designed to jump start their smart city initiatives.

Verizon and the city of Sacramento have a tentative partnership designed to turn California’s capitol into a smart city. If the Sacramento city council approves the partnership, Verizon and the city of Sacramento will tackle the following goals:

  • Assisting to bridge the digital divide by providing free Wi-Fi access in 27 of Sacramento’s public parks;
  • Supporting Mayor Steinberg’s education initiatives with internships and opportunities for elementary, middle and high school students to promote careers in science, technology, engineering and math;
  • Furthering Sacramento’s Vision Zero initiative, which focuses on reducing traffic related fatalities and severe injuries. Verizon will help the city with this initiative by improving public safety at key city intersections through technology as well as advanced signal controls to manage vehicle flow, decrease congestion, improve public transit, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Building a connected community focused on Sacramento-driven engagement with citizens and visitors with digital kiosks that include features such as Wi-Fi, security, wayfinding, notice boards and other key functions customized for the city;
  • Driving innovation and next-generation 5G connectivity with a significant infrastructure investment throughout the Sacramento community.

“This partnership will serve as a critical step in upgrading our city’s infrastructure to support the newest and best technology and the economic growth that comes with that technology,” said Sacramento mayor Darrell Steinberg. “It will also ensure that everyone who lives here or spends time here can experience the benefits of a safer, more mobile and more sustainable city. Sacramento is on the leading edge of some really big ideas, and I look forward to working with Verizon and active community members across the city to distinguish Sacramento as a destination for art, food and tech.”

Meanwhile the city of Fresno has partnered with a unit of 5 Bars, a provider of wireless infrastructure plans, to market the city’s assets for small cells and other wireless infrastructure. 5 Bars will also provide engineering services.

“This plan allows the City of Fresno to move forward in our ‘Smart City’ efforts while identifying innovative funding streams that are a part of our ongoing strategy of prudent fiscal management,” said Fresno Mayor Lee Brand.

The 5 Bars business model is a response to the skyrocketing carrier demand for outdoor small cells, which has taken some municipalities by surprise. Some cities are overwhelmed by applications to build or attach in the public right of way, but they do not want to lose the opportunity to monetize public assets on behalf of taxpayers, and they do not want their citizens to miss out 5G wireless service.

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