PPP develops smart city corridor in Atlanta

  • June 7, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

A public-private partnership (PPP) has completed the transformation of Atlanta Beltline’s smart city corridor and is paving the way for new development opportunities.

Communications infrastructure company eX² Technology has completed a communications network that transforms 25.4km of the Atlanta Beltline into a smart city corridor. The Beltline is a former railway corridor around the city.

Atlanta Beltline Inc (ABI), the entity overseeing the planning and execution of the Beltline vision, and eX² Technology entered a public-private partnership to design and deploy the communications network consisting of a multi-duct and fibre optic network system.

The underground communications infrastructure creates the foundation for a technology-driven corridor that connects Atlanta with advancement opportunities. The Beltline is redefining downtown Atlanta and the 45 in-town neighbourhoods that surround the trail system with connectivity for homes, businesses, roadways, schools, healthcare facilities, light poles, traffic signals, public safety infrastructure and more.

“This is a major milestone that assists in the transformation of a smart city corridor, stimulating and promoting the growth of Atlanta communities, e-learning and remote working capabilities and, ultimately, in reducing the digital divide,” said Clyde Higgs, CEO of ABI.

Jay Jorgensen, chief operating officer at eX² Technology, added: “We are pleased to complete the installation of the duct and fibre system along the Atlanta Beltline. The partnership with ABI has been a catalyst for network development and has drawn attention from innovative local, national and international companies seeking to expand their services within the greater Atlanta region.”

ABI will continue working with eX² Technology on the next steps, to include developing wireless services along the corridor and launching a commercialisation programme to lease excess duct, dark fibre and wireless capacity along the Beltline.

 “This initiative is part of the city’s larger efforts to advance smart cities initiatives and maintain its ranking as one of the country’s most competitive business destinations,” said Tye Hayes, chief information officer for the city of Atlanta. “We are thrilled about the fibre optic network along the Atlanta Beltline and what it means for bringing greater opportunity to the citizens and businesses of Atlanta.”

Nebraska-based eX² Technology manages and maintains the communications system as well as serves as ABI’s exclusive commercialisation partner. The revenues generated through the programme are put back into the trail system to support the growth and development of new services for trail users and the downtown community. A local dark fibre network provider and an international content provider are among the first companies to enter into agreements with the Atlanta Beltline for network assets.