Cities, all over the world, are rapidly changing into smart cities. In doing this, interconnected technologies play a crucial role in capturing, transferring and translating data into meaningful material which is required to develop and reinforce urban infrastructure. All this is possible with high-speed fibre optic networks that provide the communications infrastructure to transport an enormous amount of data from one end to the other end, including the cloud-based systems.
Although there is a debate on the replacement of fibre optic network with 5G networks. Some argument stated that both the networks will complement each other in the coming years. Currently, as the fibre optic is leading in all sectors, smart cities will keep their focus on it. The fibre optic expansion projects discussed ahead are evidence that shows fibre optic technology is sustaining the smart city developments around the world.
Highlighting The Existence Of Fibre Optic Cable Network
The advent of fibre optic cables opened the opportunities to have ultra-broadband and low latency communication in cities as opposed to the traditional copper cable network which had its own limitations.
Fibre optic made it possible to transfer data at speeds that also support the implementation of artificial intelligence in different infrastructure ecosystems. Whether you need a surveillance system for crime prevention, or autonomous drones to survey lands, a smart traffic management system to tackle congestion and prevent accidents or smart buildings to support sustainable living, all this operates with the help of fibre optic in smart cities. Broadly, fibre optic is a fundamental player in improving the quality of life in cities while helping them reshape into smart cities today.
To name the types of fibre optic networks, there are three: Fibre To The Home (FTTH), covering the entire distance from telecom operator’s central office to the user’s home; Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC), covering the section from the central office to the street cabinets and from there using copper cables to connect to the homes; and Fibre To The Tower, connecting the primary telecommunications network to the cellular network towers.
Among all, FTTH is the most powerful and advanced fibre optic network currently operating in the world.
Fullerton In California: First Fibre City
Fullerton is preparing to become the first Fiber City in the US. The global fibre optic network developer SiFi Networks (SiFi) will provide the largest open access network which will pass through every home and every office in the city.
The project will be privately funded by Smart City Infrastructure Fund, a global investment fund managed by Whitehelm Capital and supported by APG, the biggest pension delivery company in the Netherlands.
The project is expected to begin this month in June using micro-trenching which causes disturbance as minimum as possible. When the infrastructure is ready, it will allow users to pre-subscribe to primary ISPs on the network by choosing either GigabitNow or Ting. Those who pre-subscribe will be able to avail the best deals. The first pre-subscribers for home use will have the service active before the end of this year, as per the network company.
SiFi Network will operate the network by collaborating with the internet service providers (ISPs) who are capable of bringing their marketing and customer service expertise to deliver retail services including internet, TV and voice to every user throughout the city without drawing divisions in the demographic. SiFi is promoting the set up of the first fibre city with the aim to revolutionise the North American telecoms market and deliver more privately funded networks.
As per Ben Bawtree-Jobson, CEO of SiFi Networks, the investment in building the largest and the first fibre city will set the standards for fibre optic infrastructure as a core utility.
As per the claims made by SiFi, the new network will significantly enhance the internet speeds and serve the needs of the growing demand for data from 21st-century gadgets in business and households. Furthermore, it will also support the rollout of new smart city initiatives in important public services including traffic control, street lighting, emergency services and so on. Even more, the network will also help in the expansion of 4G and 5G cellular networks in the city.
When the network is ready to function, the city will have a tremendous amount of opportunities to launch smart city applications while addressing the communication needs of the citizens in a better way. Eventually, this will enhance economic development in the city.
The Biggest Fibre Project In The UK History
CityFibre, UK’s largest alternative digital infrastructure provider is working on the roll-out of full fibre to five million homes in the UK. The project that requires £2.5 billion investment will be backed by an infrastructure debt package of £1.12 billion from seven major financial institutions including ABN AMRO, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank plc, Natixis, NatWest, Santander and Société Générale. The debt package is the first part of the total investment and is said to be the largest one promoting full fibre roll-out in the UK’s history.
This project represents one-third of the government’s target to deliver fibre service to 15 million home by 2025.
Owing to the size of the project, it is going to serve as an important milestone to enhance the digital future of the country – as envisioned by CityFibre.
Initially, the debt package will be put to use to fund the rollout that will reach two million homes out of the five-million target. Going ahead, CityFibre will work on the expansion of the full fibre networks that already exist in 37 towns and cities in the UK.
Same as the Fullerton project, CityFibre’s full fibre network is designed to deliver to all businesses, homes as well as the public sector. In addition, the network will also serve as a backbone for mobile operator’s existing locations, provide a platform for the roll-out of 5G and IoT technology and offer game-changing connectivity to all those who will be a part of the Gigabit City Club.
CityFibre leveraging from the debt market is a vital step opening opportunity for the deployment of the large-scale open-access platform which will, in turn, enable smart city development including the 5G rollout and foster innovation in the country.
The new fibre network will offer amazingly faster speeds that will enable internet service providers and mobile operators to deliver better internet facility to the users.
As stated by Terry Hart, chief finance officer of CityFibre, the debt package from the financial institutions is further evidence that CityFibre’s project is the right one for the UK.
CityFibre will complete its target to reach five million homes by 2025. Besides, the new service will also penetrate thousands of businesses and public sector buildings. Needless to say, this will bring huge economic opportunity to cities and towns.
With the fibre optic initiatives unveiled, it is clear that both fibre optic networks and 5G each other to run successfully. Together both technologies will provide a well-integrated internet experience over fixed and mobile applications. 5G will provide mobility which lacks in fibre optic networks while the latter’s role will be inevitable in pushing the 5G goals forward.