Purdue's smart city microcosm includes private wireless and a neutral host fiber network

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Municipal leaders worldwide are educating themselves about the potential of wireless connectivity, sensors and artificial intelligence to make their cities safer, cleaner, richer and easier to navigate. But when it comes to actually implementing new technology, many are challenged by integration with existing systems, networks and processes. This was not a problem for David Broecker, chief innovation and commercial officer at Purdue Research Foundation (PRF). He was able to start with a clean slate when developing connectivity solutions for Discovery Park, a greenfield smart city microcosm conceived by Purdue University president Mitchell Daniels. Discovery Park is a 400-acre parcel of the campus managed by PRF, which is investing in cutting edge technology with the goals of attracting corporate partners and academic researchers, and of building the economy of West Lafayette (IN). Tilson is the neutral host fiber provider for Discovery Park. Before most of the buildings were constructed, the company built an edge data center and ran 15 miles of underground fiber, Broecker said. Now three internet service providers (Haywire, Wintek and Metronet) lease fiber from Tilson and provide internet connectivity to the growing community. For dedicated wireless connectivity, Discovery Park is building a private CBRS network. Celona has installed a CBRS radio atop a building called the Convergence Center, and Broecker says it propagates roughly 1.25 miles in all directions. There are 15 access points distributed throughout the building. The network is “5G fast,” Broecker said.

Purdue's smart city microcosm includes CBRS, neutral host fiber network