By Maria Shiao, Chief Sales Officer
Telecommunications fibre optic cables are an invisible yet vital infrastructure connecting people, businesses and machines. These fibres are often a telecommunications company’s most valuable asset. But what if fibre optic cables could work harder, add value and be monetised by being more than simply a way to communicate?
I was a guest on the SmartCitiesWorld podcast discussing just that – how telecommunications companies and cities can get more value from the fibre in the ground. This is particularly important given the current economic climate when many face reduced budgets.
Much of the fibre already laid in cities has spare capacity, which could be used. In the first instance, distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) could be installed on fibre networks to protect the fibre itself and to provide security for its duct. But if you’re doing that, then why not use DAS to monitor other facilities that are within easy reach of the sensing technology?
For example, the fibre and DAS could easily be used to monitor assets such as roads, railways, water pipelines or sewers. Using DAS in this way brings many opportunities to cities to expand their use of fibre as well as improves the business case for laying the fibre in the first place. Monetising the fibre in this way also creates business opportunities for new entrants into the smart city ecosystem.
In the podcast, I also talked about how DAS tackles critical challenges such as digital inequality, and I discussed the difficulties cities face depending on the network ownership.
The answer to adding value and monetising fibre is not necessarily about reselling fibre as an infrastructure for other carriers to use, but instead, bundling it for a city’s own services. For example, Staffordshire Couty Council is trialing technology and showing how fibre can be used to reduce congestion, ultimately having a positive impact on residents’ quality of life and their health.
For more information and to listen to the podcast visit SmartCitiesWorld.
Connect with Maria Shiao, Fotech's Chief Sales Officer, on LinkedIn here.
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