Every year we flock to our TV screens to watch events broadcasted from New York City, and at the end of most programs a familiar Frank Sinatra tune usually chimes out: “I want to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep”. While New York is notorious for being “the city that never sleeps”, its reputation for staying plugged in typically flies under the radar. With a rise in modern technology, NYC has acknowledged the need to stay constantly connected in order to support a modern economy and society. This need developed when the city began operating as one of the media and financial epicenters of the world, and adopting ‘Smart City’ infrastructures.
When it comes to bringing together the largest corporations in media and finance, NYC has others beat. More Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in NYC than any other U.S. city, including top media and finance companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs Group, and 21st Century Fox.(1) This buzzing atmosphere provides a great need for data transference throughout the city. Finance corporations in New York are relying on their networks 24/7 for everything from automated trading to storing in-house information; while media corporations rely on a network to constantly transmit their programs without delay or noise-interference. Both finance and media companies rely on a strong uninterrupted network to operate at their highest capacity.
Building a Smart City:
New York City has shown signs of integrating technology not only into business structures, but into the city’s physical infrastructure. Awarded as the “2016 Best Smart City”(2), NYC has shown promising advancements that haven’t gone unnoticed. NYC has adopted technology to help promote a better living environment, and also create a positive experience for those visiting for business or pleasure. A great example is the LinkNYC project, which is replacing thousands of payphones with a new station that will provide public Wi-Fi and charging for public use. With more technology being adopted on the streets of NYC, these additions will require a non-stop connection to keep the city running smoothly.
The introduction of new technology to an old city infrastructure has created a need to expand and install a new fiber backbone. Old infrastructures, like copper wire, aren’t optimized to support the new advancements being made. Copper wire is unable to process large amounts of data due to limited frequency spectrums and data rates; whereas fiber-optic cables transfer large amounts of data easily due to their higher bandwidth, more elastic traffic-carrying capacity, and lower probability of electromagnetic interference(3). Considering the advantages of fiber optics, it’s a necessity for the city that never sleeps or unplugs.