Briefing

Sidewalk Labs reveals proposed new technologies for Toronto’s Quayside

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In a Medium post, Sidewalk Labs’ Craig Nevill-Manning and Prem Ramaswami outline some of the new technologies the company will be proposing for Toronto’s Quayside neighbourhood at Waterfront Toronto’s next Digital Strategy Advisory Panel (DSAP) on January 17. The technologies include a “software-defined network,” outlined as a “new approach” to public internet that would remove the need for individuals to have home routers. Sidewalk Labs claims that utilizing a Super Passive Optical Network (Super-PON) would reduce both the amount and the cost of infrastructure needed. Developed by Google Fiber, the Super-PON is currently being used in Austin. Sidewalk said that, along with Google, it is submitting Super-PON as an open standard; once submitted, it will be free for others to use. The Quayside would be the first place in Canada to use the technology, if deployed. Finally, they also wrote about an outdoor mount for power and network technologies, currently named Koala. “We will work closely with the local telecom partners to deploy this technology,” a company spokesperson told The Logic. (The Logic)

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Talking point: This is the first time that we’ve seen concrete specifics on the digital infrastructure that may be deployed in the Quayside (and, ultimately, how residents’ data may be collected), as well as whom Sidewalk Labs may work with in making the neighbourhood a reality. Who will ultimately own the proposed infrastructure is yet to be determined and will rely on input from the DSAP. This is the first time that we’ve seen concrete specifics on the digital infrastructure that may be deployed in the Quayside (and, ultimately, how residents’ data may be collected), as well as whom Sidewalk Labs may work with in the process to making the neighbourhood a reality.