Smart City team members from the San Diego Convention Center and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington DC were recently invited to a discussion lead by Jonathan Spalter, the Chief Executive Officer of USTelecom – The Broadband Association and FCC Chairman Pai to discuss the efforts that Smart City Networks have done in assisting COVID-19 response across the country. As an exclusive internet and telecommunications provider to more than 40 stadiums and convention centers, Smart City has successfully provided internet, wireless and voice technologies to implement telemedical technology and solutions in 17 centers across the nation serving as field hospitals, government support centers, communication command centers, and homeless shelters.
While expressing his concerns for workers’ safety, Chairman Pai, spoke of the importance that Smart City’s work has done in support of the fight against COVID-19 and goes on to mention that it is important to stay connected and how much people rely on being connected during the pandemic. More people are needing to telecommute, use telehelp, and remotely connecting with others. Pai and his team wrote letters to Governors across the country explaining that communications workers are essential and that to the maximum extent possible all state and local regulations should be tailored to minimize the burden of them having access to PPE and protective gear to perform their jobs safely and as best as possible.
Through this pandemic, Smart City has been working in tandem with the U.S. Army, local hospitals, and other government agencies at many convention centers across the country to help provide COVID-19 services to the local communities surrounding these convention centers. One of the first convention centers that Smart City worked with on converting its support to a homeless shelter was the San Diego Convention Center. This location was a support location in response to COVID-19, serving as a temporary Shelter for 1200 displaced individuals that needed shelter and social distancing. By providing social service workers and other support agencies with internet connectivity throughout the venue. This operation is allowing San Diego County to provide these individuals with the services they need to find more permanent housing and facilitate treatment for coronavirus and other ongoing health-related issues. At the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Smart City provided the technology needed to convert that center into a world-class emergency field hospital.
Smart City isn’t a stranger in stepping into situations that need additional support, having worked with federal, state and local agencies such as FEMA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, local hospitals and city, county, state, and federal entities to provide network design support, Internet access and network installation services. Providing support and our technical expertise is our honor and hope to continue to help in the future. This call is not the first time that Smart City has had the privilege of being recognized by Chairman Pai and our work in support of communities in need. In 2017, Smart City-provided services at several Texas convention centers for Houston flood victims, and because of this work, we were able to host Chairman Pai at the George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Park in Houston. We hope to continue to work together and be a trusted partner that Chairman Pai can count on in the future.