WASHINGTON, June 19, 2019 – Smart cities and smart regions need better broadband, but also “soft infrastructure,” or the policies and practices that make these initiatives successful, according to a Wednesday panel hosted by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's BroadbandUSA program.
The session by the Commerce Department’s NTIA, “Building Smart Cities and Communities at the Regional Level,” discussed the challenges and progress of ongoing smart region initiatives.
Maci Morin, program coordinator for the National Association of Regional Councils, introduced the Global City Teams Challenge Smart Regions Collaborative. One of the group’s goals is to create a blueprint that empowers local, regional, and tribal leaders to build their own smart region strategies.
The GCTC was launched by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to “establish and demonstrate replicable, scalable, and sustainable models for incubation and deployment of interoperable, standard-based solutions using advanced technologies.”
The Smart Regions Collaborative will also present opportunities for peer-to-peer networking among these leaders and provide participants with access to information and technological assistance as well as connections to relevant industry professionals.
One of the initiatives discussed was the Greater Washington Board of Trade’s Smart Region Movement. The movement was announced in June of 2018 and backed by a partnership of over 300 companies and organizations, 24 local governments, Maryland and Virginia state legislatures, the U.S. Congress, and 17 colleges and universities.
The Smart Region Movement is also partnered with the Regional Transit Authority and various other regional organizations, nonprofits, startups, and financial institutions.
Program Lead Karl Darin cautioned that there are significant challenges to be overcome before Washington can become the nation’s leading digitally enabled region. The region is extremely fragmented between 24 diverse city and county jurisdictions, with “some of the most affluent and some of the most socioeconomically challenged communities adjacent to each other.”
In order to create a smart city solution that can be applied to the entire region, Darin emphasized what he called “soft infrastructure”—the legislative policies and regulations that need to be in place to make the program successful.
Although the smart region movement considers the community, the private sector, and the public sector to all be key stakeholders, Darin said that the community unequivocally comes first.
Rather than leaving industry alone to dictate the terms of this infrastructure, the program is looking for a “comprehensive societal answer,” said Darin, while also acknowledging the importance of having industry “come to the table.”
(Aerial photo of Washington, D.C.)
- Big Tech’s Response to Coronavirus: Face Masks, Hiring Binges, Free Web Sites and Cash Donations
- Democrats Call for New Infrastructure Stimulus Legislation Includes Large Broadband Provision
- The FCC Could Do More Now About the Digital Divide, Say Panelists at Broadband Breakfast Live Online Event
- Coronavirus Roundup: Senators Urge Distance Learning, Zoom Privacy, NTIA Broadband and RUS Grants
- Federal Communications Commission Proposal for Unlicensed Spectrum in 6 GHz Band Widely-Praised
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Health4 weeks ago
Battling Coronavirus COVID-19, Broadband Could Provide Relief Although Telemedicine May Not Help
Health3 weeks ago
Broadband Breakfast Live Online Will Stream Daily in March on ‘Broadband and the Coronavirus’
Net Neutrality1 month ago
FCC Seeks Comment on Net Neutrality Issues Remanded by Appeals Court: Public Safety, Pole Attachments and Lifeline
Section 2301 month ago
Attorney General Bill Barr Calls for ‘Recalibrated’ Section 230 as Justice Department Hosts Tech Immunity Workshop
Artificial Intelligence1 month ago
U.S. Progress on AI and Quantum Computing Will Best China, Says CTO Michael Kratsios
Antitrust1 week ago
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Brings Global Antitrust Experts Together in Videoconference
Broadband Mapping2 weeks ago
Commerce Department’s NTIA Details Its New-Found Progress in Broadband Mapping Technology
Broadband Mapping & Data1 month ago
Poor Broadband Maps and Lack of a Consolidated Voice Hinder Advocacy for Better Rural Internet