Arlington Named Top Digital County

August 8, 2022 | By Julia Wicks

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Arlington County has once again been recognized as a top county for technology performance and innovation. For a fifth year, Arlington was named the No. 1 Digital County in its category in the annual Top Digital Counties Survey. This honor reflects Arlington’s continued dedication to fostering innovation through technology. 

The survey praised several of Arlington’s current projects. In addition to a range of internal and constituent-focused initiatives, the survey acknowledged the Safety and Innovation Zone Demonstration Project. This year-long partnership with Comcast, US Ignite and the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative (CCI) designates a “demo zone” in Clarendon for advanced Internet of Things (IoT) deployment, artificial intelligence-driven data collection, and other emerging technologies. The project seeks to understand the impact of these technologies on public safety and cybersecurity.

Arlington also received praise for the planned Innovation District in National Landing. In July 2021, the County entered into a public-private partnership with local developer JBG SMITH to allow them access to a swath of “dark fiber” in National Landing. This deal will help JBG SMITH develop the district into the first true “smart city” in the U.S., offering seamless and reliable connectivity throughout the district.

This cutting-edge digital infrastructure is already attracting high-tech tenants. The dark fiber deal encapsulates what makes Arlington’s digital approach uniquely attractive to high-tech tenants like Amazon, Accenture, Gartner, Boeing, and Raytheon.

“[Arlington’s] physical location and the digital capabilities that are enabled in this environment are probably 15 years ahead of anything else that we’re seeing,” said John Walsh, Chief Sales Officer at Accenture.

Arlington’s cutting-edge digital infrastructure plan has garnered support from world-class innovators. Companies including Cisco, Nvidia, and AT&T are collaborating with JBG SMITH in various ways to make the Innovation District a reality.

In a recent presentation at MWC Barcelona, CEO of AT&T Business, Anne Chow discussed their work in the region. “We envision National Landing as a canvas for Smart City innovation in industry clusters such as defense and retail and cyber edge, IOT, cloud computing, 5g, AI, and so many more. Ultimately, everything and everyone could be connected in near-real time.”