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Smart Cities Driving Evolutions in Edge Data Centres

Steven Anson, Vice President, Vertical Marketing Solutions, Anixter

According to Digicity, a smart city is the integration of connected technology and data to save resources, increase equity and promote prosperity. The unique goals of each city range from smart transit to public Wi-Fi to smart street lighting.

Urban and rural areas are evolving to cater to changes in technology, while presenting new opportunities for improved public safety, connectivity and the overall experience of residents and visitors. Crucial to realising the potential of these environments is the physical connectivity layer that supports the end goals of security, mobility and efficiency.

According to the Smart Cities Council, “Ubiquitous broadband communication is a prerequisite of a smart city.” The Broadband Commission has set out guidelines to mitigate this digital divide between those with connectivity and those without by addressing funding plans, affordability, user penetration, skills proficiency, financial services and more.

Smart cities are driving changes in core network architecture, including the evolution of central offices and carrier exchanges that now look more like data centres due to software-defined networking and new applications. However, they still support the access network delivering information to homes and businesses, while catering for the demand at the edge created by the explosion of connected devices.

With the promise of 5G, heterogeneous networks and further densification at the edge, decentralised data centres play an important role as the brains of the smart city. The shift from enterprise-owned data centres to colocation facilities has offered the opportunity for further geographical expansion of data centre resources that can cater for the increased demand for availability and low-latency applications at the edge.

For more information on the essentials of smart city interoperability,, visit