One point of civic pride many Angelenos often fail to tout is Los Angeles's cutting edge streetlamp technology. Los Angeles was the first big city to make the switch to LED streetlights. Then they upgraded to the CityTouch program that allowed them to control every streetlight in the city remotely. Today, Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled the newest breakthrough in LA streetlight technology, the SmartPole. This ain't your daddy's streetlight! The new Phillips SmartPole comes with all the bells and whistles, including energy efficient LED lighting and 4G LTE wireless technology. Using Ericsson's small cell technology (whatever that is), the streetlights will bring increased wireless broadband coverage to dense areas of the city.
Los Angeles is the first city in America to install the new SmartPoles and they plan to erect 100 of the lights in the first year before rolling out more throughout the city, with 500 more poles expected to go up in the next four years. Funding for the streetlights will be generated by the streetlights themselves—the city will recoup expenses by leasing out the tops of the poles to wireless providers and even make a little extra scratch on the side. The mayor's office promises the poles will generate "hundreds of thousands of dollars" from leasing the space.
More than just a cosmetic upgrade and tech-nerd novelty, the new poles will help fulfill Garcetti's promise to provide a wireless network that's more resilient to earthquakes. LA's earthquake guru, Dr. Lucy Jones, recently identified the city's wireless connectivity as particularly vulnerable to seismic activity, and recommendations were made to bolster wireless infrastructure with earthquake-ready towers.
· Mayor Garcetti Unveils Nation's First Smartpole Street Lights with Small Cell Technology [Press Release]
· LA's New LED Streetlights are Changing the Way Movies Look [Curbed LA]
· LA Can Now Control Its 141,000 LED Streetlights Remotely [Curbed LA]
· Los Angeles Working on Cell Phone Network That Can Survive a Big Earthquake [Curbed LA]