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Smart cities commonplace in 10 years

A new poll by the Wi-SUN Alliance  (www.wi-sun.org) reveals that lack of funds or

investment in projects, along with security and privacy, are seen as the biggest challenges

holding back smart city development.

In the poll, over half of respondents expect to see widespread smart city deployments in ten or more years, while a third predict five to ten years, with just 15% expect it in less than five years.  Despite this, half cite lack of funds or investment in projects as the biggest challenge currently holding back smart city development.  A further 21% point to security and privacy issues, while lack of interoperability (14%) is also seen as a major factor in progressing deployments.
 
When asked about their specific security concerns, respondents point to data privacy as their biggest worry (37%), while attacks on critical infrastructure (28%) and network vulnerabilities (24%) are also cause for concern.  Insecure IoT devices were cited as a concern by 11% of respondents.

“It’s interesting to see the timeframe that many of our respondents place on smart city deployment, when in fact smart cities are already here,” according to Phil Beecher, President and CEO of Wi-SUN Alliance.  “Smart lighting is being deployed using canopy mesh networks and is already helping to save operational costs through reduced energy consumption and better reliability.  These deployments can be used to improve public safety and for additional services such as intelligent transport systems, smart parking and electric vehicle charging stations.
 
“Certainly security and interoperability remain critical factors in any smart city deployment and one of the reasons why developers and utilities are increasingly specifying Wi-SUN technology as part of a robust, resilient and scalable wireless communications network.  As more IoT devices connect to the network, the opportunity for major disruption through security vulnerabilities is increasing all the time, while greater IT/OT (operational technology) convergence, especially in utilities, will increase the risk of attacks on critical infrastructure,” says Beecher.

There are already more than 91 million Wi-SUN capable devices according to Navigant Research (https://www.navigantresearch.com/) awarded globally as utility companies, service providers and city developers deploy new IoT applications and services for smart cities and utilities.  Wi-SUN FAN is the network technology behind a number of major smart city projects around the world including City of London, Copenhagen and Glasgow, as well as a growing number of smart utility networks.

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