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FOSA endorses Smart Cities Legislation

May 20, 2021

Dear Representatives DelBene and Clarke:

On behalf of the undersigned companies and associations, we write to express our strong support for your legislation to foster Smart Cities. This legislation takes important steps to ensure federal agencies promote and support efforts by cities and municipalities of all sizes to utilize technology to improve quality of life for their citizens. Cities, municipalities and communities large and small across the United States are increasingly looking to technology to provide solutions for transportation, infrastructure, government services, and other critical applications.

In many instances, use of technology and new internet connected applications and services can help local governments save money and meet challenges that previously required significant capital and labor investments. For instance, sensors on police vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances and other government owned vehicles can not only provide diagnostics and preventative maintenance data on those vehicles, but can also be used to measure road conditions, notify the city of potholes, and indicate structural problems with bridges, among other information. Small sensors on water infrastructure can notify the city of low pressure, leaks, or weak pipes that may burst. WiFi hotspots or other wireless connectivity around the city can be used to provide individuals with internet access and local information, while also being leveraged to collect traffic information, air quality data, or other information that will allow local officials better serve residents.

This bill takes several important steps to build on work that is already being done at the federal and local levels. First, it directs the establishment of a Federal Smart Cities Council to coordinate federal activity on smart cities. This includes the development of a crosscutting federal program guide that compiles existing federal smart cities related programs currently available to stakeholders. Second, it requires the establishment of a federal technology demonstration program to demonstrate the benefits of smart city technologies. Further, it creates a workforce training program to ensure the workforce is better able to work with these technologies. It also creates a cybersecurity working group to develop tools for communities to use to evaluate the cybersecurity of smart city or community technologies. It also calls for a review of existing smart cities standards and interoperability efforts to identify gaps and make recommendations going forward. Finally, the bill encourages the development of global smart city or community best practices, and the continuation of smart cites trade missions to promote the adoption of U.S. smart cities technologies in foreign markets.

Many of the companies we represent are already working with local communities and cities to deploy smart cities technologies. These cities are already seeing significant benefits in cost savings, improved delivery of government services, and many other positive outcomes.

We applaud your leadership in this area by introduction of this bill, which we fully support, and look forward to working with you and your colleagues to move it through the legislative process.

Sincerely,
Business Council for Sustainable Energy
Business Software Alliance
Clean Energy Business Network
Edison Electric Institute
Fiber Optic Sensing Association
GridWise Alliance
Security Industry Association
Smart Cities Council
Telecommunications Industry Association
Wireless Infrastructure Association

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