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Laying the Fiber Foundation for Smart Mobility in Colorado

By Dennis Kyle, Senior Vice President, Fiber Solutions – Rocky Mountain Region

Smart mobility in Colorado is multi-faceted. It encompasses changes in public transportation, changes in private automobiles, growth of ride sharing and the evolution to connected cars and autonomous vehicles. Advances in these areas will be dependent on multi-modal infrastructure — roads, tracks, the electrical grid, charging stations and communications networks with the capacity to process and move all of the data new mobility innovation will depend upon.

Last month, I had the opportunity to dialogue about these issues with leaders from the public and private organizations that are advancing smart mobility in our state. The panel discussion was part of the Colorado Smart Cities Symposium, hosted by the Colorado Technology Association. I think it’s fair to say that all members of the panel are excited about the innovation and collaboration that’s underway in Colorado.

Just a few examples: The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is evaluating emerging mobility and the feasibility of moving to electric transportation. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) is working with ride sharing and mobile ticketing leaders to advance new transit models. Municipalities are taking a look at infrastructure-to-vehicle advances that would expedite adaptive traffic signals. Ultimately, sensors will likely collect and communicate all sorts of information to make our journeys safer and more efficient, from weather to road conditions and traffic to cars, bikes, people and objects moving near our vehicles.

These kinds of advances will depend on real-time processing and sharing data collected from countless sensors, both in and outside of vehicles. New auto models already have have to up to 100 sensors on board to detect objects around the car, determine distances to objects, power GPS and WPS (wi-fi positioning systems), detect exterior temperature and more. As vehicles evolve from smart to self-driving, they’ll require more sensors that will produce and process growing volumes of data.

That means that communications infrastructure — specifically mobile infrastructure — will be critical to advances in mobility. 5G, the upcoming fifth generation of cellular networking, is expected to provide up to 100 times the bandwidth of 4G networks, necessary for the enormous amount of data that will have to traverse the network.

Zayo teams are at work in Colorado and across the country enabling 5G infrastructure. Wireless infrastructure depends on wires, and today’s wires are, of course, fiber. We have been building out fiber-to-the-tower for wireless carriers to backhaul data traffic. Zayo is also expanding beyond the fiber deployments to include small cell installations, critical to building density and capacity for smart mobility — and a myriad of other smart city applications in concept or development.

Innovation from Colorado’s private and public sector partners will power Colorado’s smart mobility. Our residents will ultimately benefit from advances in multiple areas, designed to improve safety, sustainability and efficiency. At Zayo, we’re inspired by the progress and collaboration in our state and excited to be literally laying the foundation for the future.

As senior vice president for Zayo Fiber Solutions – Mountain Region, Dennis Kyle is responsible for Zayo’s fiber business across 11 states and Western Canada. Previous roles at Zayo include sales and marketing positions where he had global responsibility for Zayo’s growth objectives across several sectors, including healthcare and education as well as with key Content and Media customers. Prior to rejoining Zayo in 2015, Dennis held leadership positions at two successful Silicon Valley funded startups in the IoT and Connected Devices space, and numerous leadership positions at companies such as McCaw Cellular, Nextlink Interactive, XO Communications, and Level 3. Dennis has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University as well as an MBA and an MA in Development Economics from Stanford University. 

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