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The economics and tradeoffs of ad-funded smart city tech

In order to have innovative smart city applications, cities first need to build out the connected infrastructure, which can be a costly, lengthy, and politicized process. Third-parties are helping build infrastructure at no cost to cities by paying for projects entirely through advertising placements on the new equipment. I try to dig into the economics of ad-funded smart city projects to better understand what types of infrastructure can be built under an ad-funded model, the benefits the strategy provides to cities, and the non-obvious costs cities have to consider. Consider this an ongoing discussion about Urban Tech, its intersection with regulation, issues of public service, and other complexities that people have full PHDs on. I’m just a bitter, born-and-bred New Yorker trying to figure out why I’ve been stuck in between subway stops for the last 15 minutes, so please reach out with your take on any of these thoughts: @Arman.Tabatabai@techcrunch.com. Using ads to fund smart city infrastructure at no cost to cities When we talk about “Smart Cities”, we tend to focus on these long-term utopian visions of perfectly clean, efficient, IoT-connected cities that adjust to our environment, our movements, and our every desire. Anyone who spent hours waiting for transit the last time the weather turned south can tell you that we’ve got a long way to go. But before cities can have the snazzy applications that do things like adjust infrastructure based on real-time conditions, cities first need to build out the platform and technology-base that applications can be built on, as McKinsey’s Global Institute explained in an in-depth report released earlier this summer. This means building out the network of sensors, connected devices and infrastructure needed to track city data.  However, reaching the technological base needed for data gathering and smart communication means building out hard physical infrastructure, which can cost cities a ton and can take forever when dealing with politics and government processes. Many cities are also dealing with well-documented infrastructure crises. And with limited budgets, local governments need to spend public funds on important things like roads, schools, healthcare and nonsensical sports stadiums which are pretty much…

You Need These 4 Essential Elements to Streamline Your IT Infrastructure

Few things are costing today’s companies more money and wasted time than outdated IT infrastructure. Despite how important tech has become in the contemporary economy, too many businesses are unwilling or unsure of how they should go about modernizing and streamlining their digital infrastructure. Luckily for those companies that have yet to make the leap […] The post You Need These 4 Essential Elements to Streamline Your IT Infrastructure appeared first on SmallBizClub.

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