Smart City, Smart Move: Wi-Fi in Cincinnati

Cincinnati is about to get a whole lot smarter, according to a recent article. Last week, City Manager Harry Black and other officials announced the Smart Cities Phase 1 Request for Qualifications (RFQ), the first step in building a team to deploy Wi-Fi throughout the city and fulfill what Black has called “a smart cities vision.”

Source: Jacob Ufkes

The hope is that Wi-Fi access will open the door to the other digital infrastructure elements that Cincinnati needs to join the ranks of the various tech-friendly “smart cities” around the United States. “We want your help to lay the groundwork for a smart-city grid in Cincinnati that is useful, cost effective, and opens doors to future innovations to benefit our citizens,” Cincinnati officials wrote in the RFQ.

Wi-Fi, and the unlicensed spectrum that allows it to work, opens a world of possibilities for improving our existing technologies and the ways in which we use them, making city systems more efficient than ever before. Smart trash cans, for example, can use Wi-Fi to alert cities when they are full of trash.

Available Wi-Fi also lets city residents be more productive as they go about their day; turning commute time, for instance, into work time. Wi-Fi also connects more residents to job search and business opportunities, uplifting whole communities and enriching the local — and even national — economy.

However, the people of Cincinnati — and folks in the hundreds of other smart cities in-the-making — can only take advantage of the benefits of Wi-Fi if there is enough unlicensed spectrum to go around.

Policymakers, innovators, and public interest groups need to work together to make the most of the unlicensed spectrum already allocated. They also need to press forward to ensure greater spectrum access for future innovations. Standing up against interference from other technologies such as LTE-U and making sure that digital traffic is a well-managed investment that will allow cities around the country to invest in improving their systems and the lives of residents.

Let’s help cities like Cincinnati use the power of Wi-Fi and unlicensed spectrum to make life better. Click here to show your support for unlicensed spectrum and Wi-Fi!