November’s Infrastructure Meeting – a community update

On the first Wednesday of the month, we discuss any issue related to infrastructure that would be of interest to the Cape Cod Tech Council or the community at large. The Infrastructure committee looks at current events and trends of interest, while also serving as a vetting committee for the Tech Council. When someone wants support for a particular projects, they meet with the infrastructure committee first (OpenCape, for instance).

This month’s meeting was a clearinghouse for information coming from various areas of our community.

Smarter Cape
The next Smarter Cape Summit, Smarter Cape IV, is planned for May 12. The next step for Smarter Cape is to reassess the mission statement. Currently they are looking at how to address different issues without reinventing the wheel by being a gathering point for ideas. Smarter transportation is one of the issues Smarter Cape is looking at.

RTA
Speaking of smarter transportation, the RTA has invested in transportation technology. In 1998, they established a connection with the Bridgewater State College GeoGraphics lab, which provides GPS data and analyzing for transportation. Thanks to grants through the Cape Cod Commission, the RTA has built up a transit-oriented infrastructure. All vehicles now have GPS/AVL with a mobile computer on each bus, so you can track vehicles in real time. They are one of the first in the country to put data on the web as an AVL display. B-Bus and fixed route busses can all be tracked.

RTA also has a cloud-based service that tells clients on smart phones when the next bus will arrive at the bus stop. Ten bus stops also have LED displays with customer information screens. Plymouth & Brockton buses, NEXT Bus, Dart, and others in the RTA system are tracked now. Additionally, they’ve added voice and visual announcements for the handicapped and are developing apps for use on smart phones. Track your Flex Bus at NEXTbus.com

Wastewater
Conservation Law Foundation refiled their suit against the EPA, attempting to prove they have standing and hold EPA accountable for addressing an ongoing water pollution crisis. We haven’t seen the papers they filed, so we don’t know the details.

Telecommunications
Comcast’s focus is on fiber diversity to Martha’s Vineyard. They have signed easements from Falmouth and are ready to commence work, which will be done by mid-May. CapeNet has two months to finish work connecting emergency services with monies from a federal grant. They are also continuing to hook up new customers.

Tech & Privacy
There is a study on transportation analysis, looking at the pluses and minuses of various techniques of monitoring traffic. Is privacy taken into account? The committee is also tuned into the growing Internet of Things. Here are some resources:
NetworkedWorld.com
ScoopIt News Aggregator
Federal Trade commission’s workshop on the Internet of Things

In the spirit of tech and privacy, next month’s First Friday will include a discussion on what you can do with your various devices. There will also representatives from organizations speaking on security.

Stay tuned!

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