Municipalities Are Facing Electric Vehicle Charging Deserts

charging station for an electric vehicle

Electric vehicles are becoming a prominent option for people around the world to escape traditional gas-powered options. According to Pew Research Center, 7% of U.S. adults have an electric or hybrid vehicle, with 39% saying they’d likely buy an electric car the next time they’re in the market for a new car. However, outside of big cities, these cars are not quite common. Why? It could be due to a lack of charging stations to power their cars. 

Agenda Discovery makes local governments more transparent for business owners across a wide range of industries. We ensure you stay on top of government matters that relate to your industry to ensure you’re not caught off guard. The future looks electric and local government agencies and businesses are looking to facilitate consumers’ needs. Read our article below and learn how the public and government sectors are reacting to charging deserts.

America is Facing an Electric Vehicle Charging Station Shortage

While commuters are becoming more interested in electric cars, many don’t invest in these incredible innovations. According to the New York Times, the biggest deal breaker for shoppers is the lack of chargers in apartments, communities, and long-distance drivers. One resident in the article describes how he has to drive a couple of miles away from his home and wait several hours before a full charge.

In an Insider study, surveyors asked people who owned electric cars why they went back to gas-powered vehicles. Their answer? Charging an electric vehicle is more of a hassle than simply filling your car up with gas. While these vehicles are undoubtedly the future, the United States is facing a problem and it’s driving away consumers. 

How are Local Government Agencies Responding?

You might have heard that President Biden has launched a campaign that invests in the advancement of electric vehicle charging stations. The Department of Transportation announced it will be offering grants that can be used to deploy a better charging infrastructure. This involves funding for new charger-related research, development, and installation. 

Municipalities across the United States have already begun strengthening their electric vehicle infrastructure. They’re normalizing electric cars by adopting them in their own vehicle fleets. Austin, Texas set a goal of having 330 vehicles in their inventory by 2020. Additionally, Los Angeles’ sanitation department is committed to an all-electric fleet by 2035. Most likely, local agencies adopting electric cars will implement more charging stations to accommodate their drivers and the public at large. 

In addition to normalizing electric vehicles, local government agencies are creating incentives for places to install charging stations. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is providing grants to offset the cost of purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations. Properties such as parking facilities, workplaces, government and educational facilities, non-profits, apartments and condos are eligible for the grant. 

Rural towns are also an important element in the electric vehicle infrastructure. Establishing a robust and continuous infrastructure is important if companies and agencies are looking to make these cars the new norm. This develops a partnership among all stakeholders and greater placement of charging stations across the U.S.

Keep Track of Electric Vehicle Agendas with Agenda Discovery

With Agenda Discovery’s easy-to-use legislative tracking tool, anyone can stay on top of local government agendas that could impact their business. Whether they’re in the utility, financial, or automobile industry, we’ve made it easy to track policies that matter to any business. By plugging an unlimited amount of keywords, business leaders can feel empowered and secure knowing they have our software on their side. Contact us today to receive a free demo and learn how we give you the power to stay on top of laws that matter to your business!

Microtrenching: The Future of Fiber Optics

microtrenching and fiber optics

With the huge demand for high-speed internet connections, it’s no surprise that companies are investing heavily in fiber optic capabilities. One way urban developers and internet providers are meeting people’s demands is through microtrenching. It’s an incredible development that is further driving innovation and interest in fiber optics. 

However, with new innovation comes new government regulations to control and manage the technology. With Agenda Discovery’s legislative tracking software, we put the power of transparency and knowledge in your hands. Stay current on what’s happening in your industry and act accordingly. Read our article below and learn more about microtrenching.

What is Microtrenching?

It’s a technique that deploys cables from broadband networks at a lower cost than traditional methods. Typically it involves a cutting wheel that saws a 0.5-2 inch wide trench with a maximum of 2-foot depth. Once a microtrencher (the cutting wheel) cuts the slot on the side of the road, broadband installers will lay the cables’ protective ducts through which they pull and push the fiber optic cables. 

Once in place, the applicators will pour resin into the microtrench with two layers. One that is dyed orange to act as a safety indicator and a top layer that is pigmented to match the color of the road. 

The Benefits of Microtrenching

The advantages to this technique are tremendous, and communities who adopt it benefit greatly. New York City adopted microtrenching back in 2013 and now requires it unless there is good reason to use other techniques. Not only is this due to being a cost-effective alternative, but it requires a lot less labor. There is a significant amount of labor that goes into traditional trenching and lots of potential hazards that occur. This is especially true when developing trenches for broadband networks. Microtrenching reduces the amount of labor needed to build these fiber optic trenches while increasing broadband efficiency. 

More Local Municipalities are Adopting the Technique

As we’ve seen with New York City, microtrenching has become an excellent alternative to traditional techniques. In fact, more cities are adopting it into their own broadband networks. Cities such as Austin, Texas; San Francisco, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Charlotte, NC have all followed suit and are benefiting from it. Their city planners and engineers are using the technique to leverage overcrowded utility corridors in effective ways. This is resulting in high-speed broadband services that are meeting their people’s needs. 

As fiber optics becomes more available across the United States, it won’t be surprising if all cities adopt microtrenching. It’s incredibly beneficial and meets the high demands people want in their internet services.

Track Microtrenching Regulations with Agenda Discovery

With the huge demand for quality broadband services, cities are enlisting in microtrenching techniques to enhance their fiber optic infrastructure. With more and more cities adopting the technique there may be new regulations that could impact its usage. 
With so much data to monitor and analyze, it can be difficult to stay current on the latest discussions happening in local offices. That is why we’ve created the Agenda Discovery tool, an innovative solution to help business owners stay current on developing policies that may impact their industry. Request a demo today and learn how our software will benefit you.

Technology is Enhancing How Urban Planning Tackles Air Quality Issues

An aerial shot of a roadway with heavy clouds urban planning

According to the World Health Organization, more than half of the world’s population live in cities. By 2050, this number is expected to grow to two-thirds. As these communities continue to grow, air pollution is becoming a heavy burden on urban planning professionals. Today, air quality is being monitored and discussed heavily in all levels of government – Federal, State, and local. This is due to its negative effect on individuals living in larger cities in the United States. 


As a result, many cities are becoming “smart cities” where they use new technology to analyze and improve their infrastructure. Learn how they’re leveraging innovative solutions to handle their communities air quality below. 

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How Smart Cities Tackle Urban Planning

As our lives become more connected with technology, a number of cities are following suit. Municipal governments are using the power of technology to find solutions and improve infrastructure. Not to mention improving the efficiency, convenience, and quality of life for residents and visitors. 

Many smart cities are using new innovations to improve their energy distribution, streamline trash collection, and decrease traffic congestion. By using cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT), cities are able to receive, analyze, and manage data in real-time to improve their infrastructure. As mentioned above, local governments are leveraging IoT to help improve air quality.

How IoT Can Improve Air Quality 

As cities grow, so does the demand for cleaner air. That is why local urban planning agencies are turning to IoT to help. By using air monitors with IoT technology, cities are able to efficiently gather and analyze data about local air pollution. This has been extremely helpful for urban planners as they can use that data to make decisions that citizens can benefit from the most. For example, studies have shown vehicles cause a significant amount of air pollution, which has a negative impact on students. To counteract this, urban planning professionals will use data gathered from IoT to decide on the best placement for a new school.

How Does IoT Monitor Air Quality?

When connected to Wi-Fi, information can be gathered from the monitors to report on real-time data. Data may include time, temperature, location, and the U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI). This information will then be used by local urban planning professionals to decide on the next course of action to improve the area’s infrastructure and people’s quality of life. Furthermore, the technology can help local lawmakers design and implement regulations that would help their communities. 

Stay Current on Local Urban Planning Issues with Agenda Discovery

With legislation continuing to fight air quality issues in large cities, it’s important for urban planners to stay on top of policies that affect their communities. With so much data to monitor and analyze, it can be difficult to stay current on the latest discussions happening in local offices. That is why we’ve created the Agenda Discovery tool, an innovative solution to help business owners stay current on developing policies that may impact their industry. Request a demo today and learn how our software will benefit you.

FAA Proposes Safety Standards for Drone Delivery

A warehouse worker is starting up a drone for drone delivery

Drone delivery has been all the buzz ever since Amazon began private trials in England, and the first customer delivery by drone recently took place. While Amazon is at the forefront of beta testing their drone delivery service, many other businesses can benefit from automated delivery. The FAA recently released a new set of safety regulations for unmanned drones that would make drone delivery a reality for many businesses. But, just like most technological advancements, local governments may regulate drone delivery use. With Agenda Discovery’s government tracking software, you can be in-the-know of legislation that has the potential to change automated delivery. 

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FAA’s New Regulations  

Through the legislative process, the U.S. Government has created multiple federal legislative laws that address the ability to pilot drone aircrafts. 

With these new rules, it’s actually making it easier for companies to incorporate drones into their delivery systems. One of the most important aspects of these regulations state that operators have more freedom than before to decide how they are flown. The FAA will now allow the drone to fly throughout the country if the required maintenance, pilot procedures, and other necessities are checked off accordingly. 

What Do New Regulations Mean For Businesses?

These new regulations have eliminated some concerns the public has had regarding companies using drones. With new guidelines on how they must be operated, businesses have a clearer perspective on what needs to be done to integrate this technology into their operations. 

Interestingly, one of these legislative mandates states that drones cannot operate in Class, B, C, D, or E at the surface airspace without proper authorization or waivers. This simply means that drones would not have flight clearance in certain air space zones, i.e. airports. That will make it very difficult for businesses to utilize drones in their operations.

Potential Legal Issues?

Part 107 of the FAA regulations mandates that they will not allow air carrier operations to partake in drone usage. In order words, companies like FedEx, UPS, DHL, USPS, or anyone crossing state or national lines cannot operate under Part 107. This will greatly limit the amount of drone delivery services in the future.

Another legal issue that drone pilots must be cautious of is filing the right paperwork to operate a drone and deliver packages. Both exemptions and certifications are a lengthy process, but must be undertaken to provide delivery service for customers. With a lot of new local government policies regulating drone delivery, it can be hard to keep up with emerging regulations and how they will affect your business.

Request a Demo of Agenda Discovery

With Agenda Discovery’s legislative tracking software, you can stay up to date on any new policies that are impacting piloting drones for commercial use. With technology as new and as life-changing as delivery drones, it’s important that your business is involved in shaping legislation. Request a demo of Agenda Discovery and stay up-to-date on policies that affect your future.