Sep 18 2018

LA Looks to Team with AT&T on Smart City Tech

The City of Los Angeles and the telecom giant are in talks on a public-private partnership.

The City of Los Angeles is in talks with AT&T to create a public-private partnership to launch smart city technology in the City of Angels, the company and the city said last week. 

In a statement, they said the city will look to deploy Internet of Things technology and small cell wireless technology. The statement is vague about what the technologies will be used for. However, LA and AT&T say that they will look to make enhancements to traffic congestion, natural disaster preparedness and public safety services. Small cells can help bring increased wireless network capacity to first responders.

AT&T and LA say they are exploring the deployment of a variety of smart cities solutions, ranging from digital kiosks to sensors to monitor structures and digital infrastructure. “The deployment of these technologies will benefit all neighborhoods in Los Angeles, helping to provide better connectivity to neighborhoods that have been traditionally left behind in the digital divide,” the statement says. 

As Smart Cities Dive reports, public-private partnerships are widely favored in cities. According to a survey released early this year from Black & Veatch, more than 60 percent of respondents from cities and municipal organizations thought that such partnerships were an effective financing tool for smart city deployments, making it the most favored option.

“Working with private companies can help cities defray the high up-front cost, while the governments offer a willing customer for companies on nascent technology,” Smart Cities Dive notes.