Two years of planning and development have resulted in the Stafford County Smart Community Testbed finally opening for business.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, at a former 7-Eleven store on Route 1, next to the Stafford County Government Center, which is now the hub office for the testbed. The testbed is a partnership between the county and the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, which began in 2019.

The testbed will be one of the first places in the county to offer wireless 5G technology. Multiple project partners, including Verizon, OST, and Globalflyte sprawled out their wares in the adjacent government center parking lot to showcase innovations in drone, healthcare, and wireless technology.

The testbed establishes Stafford as a testing ground for new smart technologies, including advances in public safety and law enforcement, education, and agriculture.

Stafford County announced before the ceremony of a new partnership with Riot, a non-profit firm that will act as a facilitator between the county and other businesses and startups to attract entrepreneurs to the area. RIoT’s Executive Director Tom Snyder said that the company’s focus would be bringing smart technologies that would complement the direction in which Stafford aims to grow, including advances in broadband access.

Read more about Stafford’s plans on Potomac Local News.