Emerging and new technologies will need to use the public right-of-way and assets to perform effectively

The public policy debates over local authority for cellular wireless companies to use of the local public right of way for 5G technology demonstrates the value of public assets in the roll-out of new technologies. A myriad of Smart Cities applications will need to access public right of way and assets as well. Most of these applications will rely on sensors located on assets such as streetlights, utility poles, and other vertical structures to, for example, count, monitor and control traffic flow or measure air particulates at multiple locations. Sensors, in conjunction with geospatial technologies and A.I. will also allow, for example, automated, driverless vehicles, or access directly to local government services without necessarily accessing the Internet.

As wireline providers upgrade their networks, such networks largely use the public right of way (rather than private property) to deploy communications technology services. This will require an expansion of infrastructure, as well as above-ground devices for communications network switching, network powering, service drop connections, and other system components.

Overall, this infrastructure, both wireless and wireline, is the backbone of the applications and services that will drive the future use of end-user devices for any particular communications technology.