OPINION | Every territory has a “system of actors”, made up of institutional decision-makers, companies, inhabitants, associations, etc.), who are responsible for leading, improving and transforming it. Indeed, each territory is unique and must take advantage of its assets thanks to collective intelligence and the harmonious action of the public and private sector.
From now on, the digitalization of territories represents a major challenge for local authorities. Through a deep knowledge of local needs and a natural proximity to the populations, these administrations have the legitimacy of better equipping the territories with adapted digital inclusion devices. In order to fight against territorial inequalities, it is essential to revisit the relevance of certain local public policies and to work for the targeting of public investments.
the state kicked off the investment plan
Despite the expansion of the prerogatives of local authoritiess in terms of digital development, local managers need to be supported by specialist consulting firms and regulators, in order to draw up a diagnosis and define a roadmap, which allows both to identify priority areas, to build a targeted action plan, to design judicious solutions and to select the service providers who will be in charge of deployment, maintenance and marketing. The transversality the skills of equipment manufacturers, operators, integrators and manufacturers, is essential to guarantee engineering excellence. In order to provide an irreproachable service to the populations, it would be necessary to provide for a real political governance which aims to evaluate and adapt the partnership models.
In France, the State has kicked off the investment plan for the future, which includes a substantial digital development component that can fight against the digital divide between urban and rural areas. Priorities are given to very high speed through the deployment of networks FTTH (optical fiber) and the implementation of territorial public Wi-Fi, particularly in white zones. The flagship element which determines all the salient points for each local authority is materialized by the Territorial Master Plans for Digital Development (SDTAN). Thanks to the strong impetus of ARCEP as a regulatory authority, the networks of public initiatives are multiplying and attracting more private investors able to complete the public offer and thus revive the territories. In this sense, public-private partnerships advocate the pragmatic method and support broad coverage through the pooling of telecom infrastructure to guarantee real and global efficiency. Clearly, it seems decisive to encourage collaborative methods to move towards inclusive and cohesive societies. The implementation of the Digital Pass, a support system intended primarily for the elderly and isolated, goes in this direction and deserves to be reinforced.
Australia focuses on a digital transformation strategy for territories
In North America, the Canada reinforces its digital development policy in favor of the territories. A large number of action programs are indicative of the country’s investment in ensuring extended territorial coverage. Indeed, the region of Québec launched its “Québec Branché” plan, endowed with an initial envelope of $ 100 million, and which concerns the provision of High Speed Internet to rural regions in the desire to boost local economies and thus facilitate establishment innovative companies. Although some actors consider it imperfect, this program diversifies its objectives and includes the funding of basic networks, hybrid networks and last mile projects with a view to strengthening current capacities.
On another side, australia focuses on a strategy of digital transformation of territories which tends towards the opening of positive bridges establishing better conditions for a progressive digital economy. The stated objective is to boost the creation of new jobs by supporting the business world and developing new digital skills. This ambitious policy is conditional on improving the intelligence of local communities. Some Australian cities are at the forefront, like Newcastle, which launched the HIP project, focused on the deployment of Australia’s most successful “Internet of Things” platform. This initiative serves to promote “Civic Innovation” by pushing towards the development of an urban ecosystem favorable to oriented approaches. Smart Cities.
In Africa, the Rwanda is positioned as a digital innovation hub on the scale of the African continent. In the field, a citizen portal has been set up at the level of the city of Kigali. The officials of this city oriented towards services, believe that this type of innovation will forge stronger links between elected officials and those represented, and will ultimately produce new local services.
Casablanca, Morocco’s main economic hub, has equipped itself with an OpenData platform
At Morocco, decision-makers are busy building an ecosystem capable of operationalizing national ambitions. In this context, the Ministry of Town Planning and Regional Planning seeks to establish solid partnerships as part of its strategy of intelligence of territories in accordance with the program Morocco Digital 2025. Also on the sovereign level, the Ministry of the Interior plans to structure a digital development service in collaboration with the ANRT (National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency), and which will set the objectives that can be adapted to the local level so as to allow the opening of markets to the private sector to deploy advanced technologies.
Much effort has been made by Morocco in the process of modernizing telecoms infrastructure. Operationally, the territory of the eco-city Zenata, which will eventually accommodate 300,000 inhabitants, has already experimented with a large public IOT network focused on LoRa, a low-speed, long-range and low-cost communication technology, as part of the Open Innovation program Smart Z. This will make it possible to create a community of territorial innovation and to optimize urban systems, to offer a better service to the future occupants of this territory which wants to be connected, intelligent and socially responsible.
Also, the city of Casablanca, Morocco’s main economic hub, has equipped itself with a OpenData as part of the digital transformation master plan to meet the challenges of rampant urbanization with multifaceted consequences. The strategy of the Casablancais territory is gradually taking shape. Clearly, municipal management is reforming on several aspects. The combination of transport and interoperable and multi-service video protection is the solution chosen to streamline urban traffic and fight against insecurity. In order to properly control the equipment and take full advantage of its potential, a supervision station is also deployed at the level of the metropolitan territory.
A Singapore, the analysis of data via connected objects and the bringing together of the best digital technologies of the inhabitants help the territorial planners, to make decisions based on factual elements, to evaluate the local public policies and to place the citizen at the heart of the systems of long-term planning.
The emergence of densified IOT networks
Also, with the installation of the 5G in the territorial landscape, it is crucial to lay down strict rules to safeguard citizens’ health and private data while establishing an effective cybersecurity policy. This new ultra-powerful mobile network will allow a wireless connection infrastructure, roads, buildings, equipment and street furniture. This will constitute a new strike force to move towards a clever management of the territories and will promote the development of new digital uses. In view of the high throughput and low latency of the 5G, a great diversity of uses is emerging in the health sector, transport, industry and commerce. From now on, augmented reality will make it easier to detect network anomalies and directly improve performance. These major technological upheavals are helping to structure “Smart Territories”In the service of collective well-being.
The emergence of networks IOT densified (lampposts, sensors, traffic lights, street furniture, equipment) opens the way to endless opportunities for territories in terms of sobriety and performance of use. By way of illustration, the mix of transport systems and video surveillance could generate new functionalities that are very useful to populations and will accentuate transformational innovations in the field of connected vehicle and autonomous. This will fuel the development of V2X technology, which facilitates communication between infrastructures and a new generation of vehicles.
It is clear that the digital transformation of the territories will take some time. In order to conduct an impeccable policy in this area, all local forces should agree on a very clear development trajectory to move from a situation of retreat areas to areas of progress. An overhaul of cooperation methods and better sharing of infrastructure clearly make the difference in building supportive and competitive territories. Basically, the five challenges with which the territories are confronted: profitable technology implementation, rapid implementation, perfect transparency, exemplary efficiency and promising flexibility.