Orlando Mayor Likens 5G Deployment Competition to ‘Modern Space Race’


5G In Orlando

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer deemed the city’s Creative Village as a prime spot for tech-savvy workers leaving Silicon Valley. Dyer compared cities’and counties’ races to deploy high speed 5G connectivity to a modern space race, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The mayor said during his annual State of the City speech that he supported a 2020 ballot that Orange County Mayor Jerry Deming brought forward. It would add a penny to county sales tax to expand transportation options.

“We must provide a variety of options that connect people to where they want to go,” Dyer said. “Not every resident will use every transit option, but we need transit options for every resident. Our economy and our ability to attract high-paying employers depends on it, our quality of life depends on it, and our future depends on it.”

Could 5G Mean More Self-Driving Cars?

Embracing high speed 5G connectivity would help integrate more self-driving vehicles, Dyer added. The region got named one of 10 autonomous vehicle proving grounds by the U.S Department of Transportation. Local driving service Beep recently announced it would operate a driverless shuttle in the Lake Nona area.

Dyer also stated during his speech that the city implemented a streamlined permitting process for 5G to allow quicker benefits. Beginning in September, self-driving vehicles can operate on Florida’s roads. Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill this month to make it legal.

This “helps us understand why the race to 5G is the modern equivalent to the space race, and why Orlando needs to win that race,” Dyer said.

5G’s deployment is imminent and Orlando prepares to be a leader in self-driving vehicle use. The city’s has projected wireless carriers will need approximately 20,000 nodes to bring about 60 percent coverage to the area. During a recent City Council workshop, officials stated they along with the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) were looking at how to encourage carriers to use current infrastructure for wireless equipment, especially in the more populated downtown areas.

“What we have beginning to happen is a lot of nodes occurring on Orange Avenue,” Chief Planner Doug Metzger said. “If you were to line them all up, you’d be looking at a node every 90 feet. In my perfect world, I’d love to get two nodes on every pole.”

Orlando Already Getting Started

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