NEW ORLEANS — The City today announced the publication of the Advanced Broadband and Smart City RFP. With this RFP, the City is seeking proposals to deliver broadband connectivity and a host of Smart City solutions that will improve City services, improve quality of life, promote economic development and bridge the digital divide.
“Digital equity has been at the forefront of the Cantrell administration since day one. We know that 1 in 4 students does not have access to Internet at home, and there are places in our community where 30%-50% of residents do not have Internet at home. But Mayor Cantrell believes that everyone should have access to high-speed Internet in order to deliver digital equity and opportunity to all communities,” Jonathan Rhodes, Director, Mayor’s Office of Utilities, said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made the need for connectivity even more critical for learning, working, public health, civic and community engagement and so much more. This RFP is a major step toward securing high-speed Internet for all.
In addition to Internet connectivity, the City is seeking Smart City systems to improve City services, reduce costs, generate new revenue, increase public safety and advance economic development far into the future. This includes options such as smart lighting, intelligent traffic management, smart water detection, and smart kiosks to deliver public information and City services. To be more specific, the City is seeking to deploy wireless and fiber infrastructure that address the digital divide and community needs by providing for a level of free services to members of the public.
“I’d like to thank our partners at Ignite Cities, who have provided assistance to help New Orleans understand the power of the Smart City approach to digital equity,” Rhodes added.