The future of most global cities lies in smart technology, from street sensors monitoring traffic to automated robots cleaning the streets.
To realise a smart city requires a huge upheaval of infrastructure and continuing advancements in technology.
The most fundamental aspect, however, of a successfully integrated smart city is connectivity.
All the new infrastructure and all the devices have to be connected by super fast, high bandwidth networks.
There is no room for slow connection, or connection failure.
To say this scenario would be catastrophic and costly in a smart city scenario would be accurate.
It would quite literally stop traffic.
Connected devices will be the lifeblood of smart cities in the future, and so this connection must be above all things, fast and secure.
The business of tomorrow
Today, Colt Technology Services (a high bandwidth network services provider) has committed to a major system-wide network upgrade that will give its enterprise, carrier and web-centric customers access to bandwidth levels of up to 100Gbps and enable businesses of all sizes to future proof their connectivity, according to the announcements.
Gbps stands for billions of bits per second and is a measure of bandwidth on a digital data transmission medium such as optical fiber.
Trying to gauge how many Gbps would be necessary to successfully maintain a smart city is hard to quantify.
However, to put 100Gbps into perspective, Chattanooga a city in Tennessee has once again become a hotbed of innovation after tough economic times, since its electric power board has managed to provide 10Gbps fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) services to the community.
The city was struggling and the increased connectivity 10Gbps brought restored it back to life.
It once again drew a growing base of startup companies and even allowed large companies to locate and retain businesses.
Thanks to increased Gbps service, the city further recovered in 2011 when Volkswagen announced it would expand its Chattanooga plant because, in part, the strong levels of connectivity.
100Gbps sounds significant in this context (if 10 can resurrect a city).
Colt’s aim is focused on enabling critical business connectivity solutions by building out a multi-terabit optical backbone and next generation packet network optimised for this 100Gbps connectivity.
Carl Grivner, CEO of Colt said: “We are causing a major disruption in the telecoms market, similar to that being played out now in cloud computing.”
“Old business models are breaking down and technology is taking a major leap forward, driven by software and virtualisation.
As the applications and infrastructure that power tomorrow’s businesses increasingly move into the cloud and the data centre, the demand for reliable, scalable, and high-quality, business-grade connectivity continues to grow.
“To enable this transition, Colt is driving a data centre-focused, distributed network topology, offering direct connections to over 200 key data centres, carrier hotels and cloud aggregation points, putting customers closer to the core of their digital business,” said Rajiv Datta, CTO, Colt.