Communications Project Profiles

Communications - Project Profiles 

A United Nations report released in 2011, declared access to the internet and communication a basic human right. Communication infrastructure is the backbone of how modern cities develop and run. In order to prosper, each city needs to embrace technology. Below is a list of the 10 most innovative communication infrastructure projects, as chosen by a panel of independent industry professionals for the Infrastructure 100: World Cities Edition that highlight how cities are embracing technology.



Feature Project: BRICS Cable Project


A hugely ambitious initiative designed to boost international communication between cities and global access to high-speed internet is the BRICS Cable Project. As the acronym suggests, this initiative aims to connect the BRIC markets and the United States with a 34,000 kilometer two-fiber pair submarine cable with capacity of 12.8Tbit/s via cities like Jacksonville (USA), Fortaleza (Brazil), Cape Town (South Africa), Port Louis (Mauritius), Chennai (India), Singapore, Shantou (China) and Vladivostok (Russia). With enhanced internet connectivity, the cable would boost trade links and economic competitiveness.




IBM Intelligent Operations Center


In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s fast-growing capital, the city’s Intelligent Operations Center uses IBM technology to coordinate its city services in real time – from responding to natural disasters to unsnarling traffic. While some cities contemplate such systems, Rio is actively innovating and implementing them. The operations center was opened at the end of 2010, and looks to improve and coordinate city services ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics.




South American Fiber Optic Ring


The South American Fiber Optic Ring is a 10,000 kilometer ring that will have a regional impact by creating direct connections between cities and countries without relying on the neighbor to the north – currently 80 percent of international data traffic from Latin America passes through the United States. This project will not only increase the connection speed between South American cities by 20-30 percent, but it will vastly decrease communication costs.




O3b Networks


O3b Networks has financed and is currently deploying a billion dollar next-generation satellite network that combines the reach of satellite with the speed of fiber – providing an internet backbone for people in Africa and other emerging markets with limited access to broadband. The judges were impressed with the scope of the project which aims to connect several billion users in 177 different countries.




Kokua Wireless


The Kokua Wireless initiative in Hawaii – offering free municipal wifi on the island of Oahu – humbly began with 15 local businesses putting antennas on their roofs and sharing their internet access. The scheme quickly gained momentum by word of mouth and now has nearly 200 nodes. In exchange for participation, businesses receive free advertising. Every 30 minutes the internet connection is refreshed to prevent illegal downloading; when it boots back up, the user is reconnected and routed to the website of one of the businesses housing an antenna.




National Authentication Framework


Increased global connectivity means that data security is quickly becoming a critical issue. The National Authentication Framework in Singapore is a key program under the iN2015 Masterplan to deploy a trusted and cost-effective nationwide platform for strong authentication by public-facing online services that handle sensitive information and/ or facilitate transactions. The new system will boost the security of the country’s communication infrastructure by providing a more rigorous process of identification; thus safeguarding against unauthorized access to sensitive information such as bank account details, securities trading account details or electronic health records.




Cisco HealthPresence


The crossroads of health and communication technology are perhaps best illustrated in the United States by the Cisco HealthPresence project in Tennessee. HealthPresence involves advanced care at a distance via a platform that links patients and clinicians with HD video, audio, medical devices and collaboration tools. It works with medical diagnostic equipment, such as stethoscopes and otoscopes, to capture patient information, while also allowing patients to interactively discuss their conditions with their physicians remotely. The judges praised the project for its goals of lowering the cost of healthcare and allowing more patients in rural areas to be seen by specialists often located in large urban medical centers.




Barcelona Smart City


Reinventing a city that was reinvented for the 20th century, Barcelona Smart City is a strategic initiative between the Catalonian capital’s city council and Cisco to develop a range of next generation city services in order to improve economic competitiveness and the welfare of its citizens. This includes energy monitoring of public buildings, rainwater harvesting, a smart bus network (relaying real-time transport information to the public), smart parking and public access to the internet.




Amsterdam Smart City


Amsterdam Smart City (ASC) is a unique partnership between businesses, authorities, research institutions and the people of Amsterdam. The initiative has grown into a broad platform, with more than 70 partners that are involved in a variety of projects focusing on energy transition and open connectivity. ASC is all about the total sum of testing innovative products and services, understanding the behavior of the residents and users of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and sustainable economic investments. The ultimate goal of all activities is to contribute positively towards achieving CO2 emission targets, as well as aiding the economic development of the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area. In doing so, the quality of life will improve for everyone.




New Songdo Smart City


In South Korea, reclaimed land along the Incheon waterfront near the capital Seoul forms the foundation for New Songdo Smart City. Songdo contains a mixture of commercial, residential and retail property. Infrastructure will react to human movements at “lightning speed”, and the entire city will use technology to optimize resource use. Songdo also features an advanced pneumatic waste collection system that eliminates the need for garbage trucks. Green space has been factored into the plan, and accounts for up to 40 percent of the total area and a new 7.4 kilometer bridge links the city with Incheon International Airport. Full completion of the city is expected in 2016.




Information contained within the feature project articles and sector articles of the Infrastructure 100 Report are provided by Infrastructure Journal (IJ). Infrastructure Journal assisted with collating and analyzing projects to be considered by regional and global judging panels for the Infrastructure 100 Report, and conducted in-depth research which was used to develop the project profiles contained within the publication. While KPMG makes every attempt to provide accurate and timely information to readers, neither KPMG nor Infrastructure Journal guarantees its accuracy, timeliness, completeness or usefulness, and are not responsible or liable for any such content.

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