- Today at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Cisco introduced a $1 billion program dubbed the "City Infrastructure Financing Acceleration Program," designed to make it easier and more affordable for cities to adopt technological advancements.
- Cisco also announced added waste management functions, public safety functions and purchasing options for its Cisco Kinetic for Cities data platform, formerly known as its Smart+Connected Digital Platform.
- Approximately 38 cities are now running on Cisco's Kinetic platform, including Cary, NC, which is using the platform for smart parking solutions.
For many cities, having the capital to fund new technological advancements is an obstacle, leaving few options for investment and, in turn, for city growth. Cisco's new program however uses revenue-share financing to help deploy "innovative technology with minimal initial investment," allowing cities to extend future operating budgets "through revenue streams from the new services that a digitized infrastructure makes possible." While it is unclear how many cities will benefit from the financing program, the new offering will make city transformation much more feasible in the near future.
As for the Kinetic for Cities platform, Cisco is making sure it fosters creativity and supports cities that use Kinetic for new, innovative applications. According to Larry Payne, Cisco’s VP of U.S. Public Sector, this helps the Kinetic platform stand out from other IoT data solution providers.
"Cisco is known for communications in connectivity so we have a lot of features and functionality that comes from that heritage in the platform," Payne told Smart Cities Dive. "The other thing we've done very well is partner. If you look at the different devices that Kinetic supports, we're unique in the fact that we have such a broad ecosystem of partners we support ... The last thing is our heritage around security and the ability to secure this information because it's very difficult with the number of threat factors that this creates from all these different devices."
Cary CIO Nicole Raimundo touted the Kinetic platform, saying it's been "fantastic to gain visibility" and see how often certain parking spots — specifically handicap spots — are being used around town. And while the city currently only uses the platform's parking solution, it hopes to soon optimize the lighting, urban mobility and security functionalities, as well.