Innovation

Verizon and Sacramento partner for smart city tech to upgrade infrastructure

Free Wi-Fi in public parks, digital kiosks, and STEM education initiatives are planned as part of the new partnership between Verizon and the city of Sacramento, CA.

On Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council approved a public-private partnership between the city and Verizon that will step up the installation of smart tech to upgrade infrastructure and create a more mobile, sustainable city.

Planned initiatives as part of the partnership include providing free Wi-Fi in public parks in Sacramento, CA, deploying digital kiosks, and supporting STEM education initiatives to upgrade the city's infrastructure.

Verizon has been working with other partner cities including Boston, New Rochelle, NY, Kansas City, MO, and Seattle to deploy sensors, cameras, Wi-Fi, and kiosks to increase public safety, encourage citizen engagement, and reach sustainability and safety goals.

SEE: Verizon targets smart city growth with acquisition of Sensity Systems (TechRepublic)

"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 Darrell Steinberg, mayor of Sacramento, in a press release. "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."

The specifics of the partnership include:

  • Assisting to bridge the digital divide by providing free Wi-Fi access in 27 of Sacramento's public parks.
  • Supporting STEM education initiatives with internships and opportunities for elementary, middle, and high school students.
  • 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.
  • Adding digital kiosks that include features such as Wi-Fi, security, wayfinding, and notice boards.
  • Driving 5G connectivity with a significant infrastructure investment throughout Sacramento.

"Sacramento has positioned itself as a leader in technology and innovation investment. This proposal not only underscores the city's commitment to putting its citizens first, but to providing them with the tools, engagement opportunities, and innovation to drive digital equality and quality-of-life improvements," said Mrinalini (Lani) Ingram, vice president of smart communities at Verizon.

The investment lays the foundation for enhancing the digital prosperity of the city, said Sacramento Congresswoman Doris Matsui.

"Technological advances are crucial and one of the key factors to our future and economic success throughout the Greater Sacramento region. This proposed partnership with Verizon will create cutting-edge technology and put Sacramento on the map as being one of the most innovative cities in the nation," said Greater Sacramento Economic Council President and CEO Barry Broome.

The top 3 takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. The Sacramento City Council approved a public-private partnership between the city and Verizon that will step up the installation of smart city tech.
  2. The partnership will work on bridging the digital divide by providing free Wi-Fi access in 27 of Sacramento's public parks.
  3. The initiative will also include installing digital kiosks and supporting STEM education initiatives as well as driving 5G connectivity.

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About Teena Maddox

Teena Maddox is a Senior Writer at TechRepublic, covering hardware devices, IoT, smart cities and wearables. She ties together the style and substance of tech. Teena has spent 20-plus years writing business and features for publications including Peo...

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