With its big budget campaign and quirky TV adverts, Waka Kotahi (NZ Transport Agency) has set its sights on an aspirational goal for New Zealand - no deaths or serious injuries on roads by 2050.
It’s an ambitious target but it’s hard to argue with the intention of the strategy when you consider Auckland alone recorded a 120% increase in road fatalities last year.
One thing’s for sure, smart city technology to help monitor, manage roads and ensure safe driving behaviour, will play a big role.
CCTV, traffic signals, electronic signage and displays, critical information to help with your journey, it’s all part of the solution.
Role of video
As any local Council or roading authority knows, video is critical to road safety measures, providing the means to see exactly what’s going on in real-time.
Not only does video support the phasing of lights, it provides many insights for proactive and predictive smart city applications. This can include accident avoidance, police monitoring and tracking, and traffic management to ease congestion, which is estimated to cost up to $1.3 billion a year in Auckland alone.
Low resolution will limit what you can do with it, regardless of the speed of your connection. High-resolution video, consistently and almost instantaneously delivered to a place of analysis, is the only true way to embrace all these smart city opportunities which will empower decision making.
Why fibre is the smart choice
It’s a simple equation: as the cost of high-definition camera technology goes down and the data appetite of smart applications and quality of high definition goes up – fibre becomes the logical connectivity solution for better roading management.
For example, UHD (4K) cameras which are now readily available can capture around 25 times the resolution of analogue, so hard-wired fibre connections for fixed civic infrastructure is well placed to deliver the reliability, consistency and ever-increasing bandwidth demands.
While the benefits of fibre as a network technology are well known for homes and businesses, this has been also complemented recently with the creation of a new product purely designed for smart city applications – Smart Locations.
These solutions provide fibre connectivity without the need for a physical address or dwelling. Instead, devices that require high data i.e. CCTV, antennas, and billboards can plug into a standard Fibre ONT or SFP Fibre ONT (size of your thumb, perfect for small spaces & limited power) anywhere around New Zealand or on any street furniture (such as traffic lights & bus stops).
The service essentially means we can take fibre further for all sorts of remote applications in urban environments. This certainly shifts the dial on connectivity solutions for smart cities and IoT. While wireless technology is fine redundancy for low bandwidth use cases, there’s plenty of reasons why fibre connectivity for high-bandwidth IoT applications such as CCTV, should be preferred.
- Cost - Total cost of ownership over the long term can be considerably less with fibre. Installation cost may be greater initially, however, over time, this is offset because hardware requires less upgrades, and monthly fees are not subject to data caps or overage charges.
- Scalability – with a nearly limitless bandwidth capability a single fixed fibre Smart Location connection can enable you to collocate multiple smart city devices in one place, such as CCTV, Antenna for free wifi, interactive information boards, electronic advertising, air quality sensors, and more.
- Reliability: Fibre is proven to be the fastest and most reliable broadband technology available according to regular Measuring Broadband New Zealand reports (MBNZ). Chorus works hard to ensure we have a congestion free fibre network and bandwidth delivered is as advertised. This is compared to shared mobile and fixed wireless technology which can be more affected by the environment and high spectrum usage/events.
- Flexibility – As an open access network technology, any smart city device connected with a fixed fibre solution, means an organisation can choose from a range of retail service providers. This compares to a wireless solution using 4G or 5G locking you into a singular RSP choice.
- Upstream speed - whereas Netflix needs good downstream speeds, CCTV cameras need that speed in the upstream direction. The latest MBNZ report shows the upstream speed of the most popular fibre service (Fibre 300) is 6 times faster than for 4G wireless (110.3 vs 17.9Mbps) and is also considerably faster than average 5G upload speeds (19Mbps based on latest insights)
- Availability - fibre currently has 87% population coverage and is available everywhere within urban environments. Once fibre is physically installed it’s almost always available (i.e. very low fault rate). As Opensignal reports, 5G reach (i.e. geographic coverage) is less than 2 out of 10, and 5G availability (i.e. % of time) is only 2.8%-3.9%.
- Sustainability - sustainability/emission-reduction targets are a fact of life for many local Councils and utility companies. Fibre has excellent emission credentials when compared with other broadband network technologies.
Find out how Auckland Transport used Smart Location fibre connectivity on their roading network and if you want to look at a similar solution for your CCTV system get in touch with us today by contacting our Smart City Connectivity lead, Lauren Taylor at email@example.com.