Cities will be transformed by WiMax, smart grids, social networks, and other emerging technologies, once they are cohesively integrated. WiMax is seen as a critical tool for supporting city-wide wireless services. WiMax offers more ubiquitous access than Wi-Fi, because WiMax is available throughout a given area while Wi-Fi hot spots require users to search for them.
The notion of the smart grid is oriented around the idea of using electricity when it is available at low cost rather than at peak periods, and the integration of renewable energy sources into the grid via two-way communication between utility companies and the businesses and individuals who use their power. There might be a central command center for overseeing and adjusting power usage and for delivering information technology (IT) services through WiMax, but the actual IT operation could reside in the computing cloud rather than in the city's data center.
Social networking technology also is being tapped to provide online services through which citizens can keep up with local developments and comment on neighborhood issues. For example, Dublin, Ohio, uses networking software to operate a portal where government officials can post blogs, engage in dialogue via instant messaging, and share documents. Dublin plans to make the private network accessible to all citizens over the next several months.
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Abstracts Copyright © 2009 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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