The City of Sacramento and the telecom giant Verizon have recently inked a public-private partnership deal that could potentially bring economic benefits to the city. The deal calls for Verizon to install public Wi-Fi hotspots in 27 of Sacramento's public parks, to place digital kiosks in certain locations across the city and to sponsor several of the government's STEM educational initiatives. Last June 6, the Sacramento City Council unanimously voted in favor of the deal, finally giving the two parties the permission to start the implementation of the deal. Ultimately, the City of Sacramento hopes to take advantage of the new infrastructure to be installed by Verizon to boost the city economy and increase public safety. The new infrastructure also seeks to support the city's increasingly mobile and internet-dependent population.
The deal between Verizon and the City of Sacramento could potentially boost the city's economy both in the long-term and in the short-term. In the short-term, the deal could potentially bring jobs to the citizens of Sacramento, most likely related to the installation and maintenance of the infrastructure that the carrier will install across the city. In the long-term, the infrastructure installed by Verizon could potentially bridge the digital divide among citizens. Digital divide pertains to the gap between the people who can readily access the internet and those who cannot access it. In addition, the deal also calls for the carrier to support the government's STEM educational initiatives through internships and additional opportunities to pursue related careers. To increase public safety, new technologies could be installed on the major thoroughfares to reduce vehicular accidents and injuries, manage vehicle flow, and diminish greenhouse gas emissions. For example, new signal controls can be used to reduce congestion at key city intersections. In addition, kiosks that function as Wi-Fi hotspots, notice boards, and way finders could also be placed in certain locations across the city, potentially resulting in increased citizen engagement.
The deal also addresses the need for potential improvements to the city infrastructure within the next few years. One of the city's goals for this deal is that the new infrastructure should support 5G connectivity. To support the said wireless technology, the carrier aims to install numerous small cells across the city. The city, for its part, has promised to streamline the process of permit applications to facilitate the more rapid installation of small cells. Once completed, Sacramento joins the list of Verizon's partner cities which already includes the cities of Boston, New Rochelle, Kansas City, and Seattle