Tallahassee mayor speaking at 5G conference, seeking to bring new technology to city

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
May 17, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey is speaking about 5G technology at Orlando's Connect(X) Conference next week.

According to AT&T, the City of Jacksonville currently has 5G capability, and Orlando will be able to use it sometime in 2019.

5G technology requires more towers close together to obtain quicker speeds.

Mayor Dailey said that technology could be vital during a natural disaster, due to our reliance on tablets and phones.

"At the very very very core of a state of emergency: number one, health, safety, and welfare of your citizens. Number two: being able to provide food and shelter. Number three: being able to communicate," said Mayor Dailey.

A dozen private internet providers already exist in Tallahassee. Leon County, the City of Tallahassee, and the state government also offer free wifi in some areas as well.

So-called "smart cities" use technology such as 5G to help businesses, the government, and residents stay connected.

A smart city reduces barriers and helps these groups interact.

"They say 30% of traffic within a city is actually people looking for parking spaces, according to the TSA," said Blake Dowling. "So how do you alleviate that? Well, you have smart parking lots, with sensors that actually show via the app what parking spots are available."

Dowling is the CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. He researched other ways for cities to make residents' lives easier.

Other ideas include sensors for 24 hour lights. If no one is near, the light can turn off, saving energy and being more environmentally

Another option would be adding sensors on dumpsters to save time for garbage trucks. If a dumpster is not full, the garbage truck can
skip it and keep driving.

One "smart city" resource Tallahassee has already implemented is smart traffic lights with cameras.

"I guarantee people who know they're there are way less likely to run it! Tallahassee did a great job of getting that out to the marketplace fast," said Dowling.

Dowling hopes with bigger cities such as Jacksonville and Orlando experimenting with 5G, Tallahassee can eventually obtain the service for cheaper.

"So hopefully we can learn from their mistakes, see what they did right, follow best practices in regards to 5G and smart cities, and then, economies of scale, and the longer smart technology is out,
lower costs," said Dowling.

Mayor Dailey is hoping to bring new technology such as fiber optic, 5G cellular, or satellite communication to Tallahassee.

"I think it is my responsibility as an elected official to always try to stay ahead of the curve, work with our industry partners to try to provide the best connectivity we can here in Tallahassee," said Mayor Dailey.

Other speakers at the May 20 event include mayors from Tampa, Miami and Orlando.

Dowling also said with big cities such as New York, Chicago and London implementing new technologies, the Smart City industry will be $400 billion by next year, due to all the new apps and sensors utilized and installed. Unfortunately, it may also introduce the possibility for more cyber crime.

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