The UK government wants turn lamp posts into 5G beacons in a boost toreinforce the network and bring better connectivity across the country.
Announced during London Tech Week by UK Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, the government’s Smart Infrastructure Pilots Programme (SIPP) aims to strengthen the network, especially in rural areas.
Through the program, local authorities will be able to deploy advanced digital architecture such as smart lampposts.
Charging electric vehicles
The initiative is a joint program between the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT), and the Department of Transport (DfT), and will provide six local authorities with up to £1.5 million in funding. The authorities will then be matched with smart service providers to procure and test these smart lampposts.
The smart lamp posts will be more than just 5G beacons, though. They will be designed to offer not just mobile network connectivity, but also public Wi-Fi, electric vehicle charging, and public safety and environmental monitoring. The government believes local authorities can realize significant cost savings and increase connectivity for local communities.
“By turning lamp posts and other road infrastructure into smart devices such as public wifi points, the government are investing in the ways everyday transport infrastructure can be transformed for a greener, cleaner future,” commented Technology and Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman. “This program will boost connectivity across the country and increase electric vehicle charging access, helping us to reach our net zero goals.”
Applications for the Smart Infrastructure Pilots program are now open to all eligible UK local authorities. The deadline for applications is Friday 7 July at midnight, and interested parties can read this to learn how to enter Smart Infrastructure Pilots Programme (SIPP) competition. The funding for the project comes from the Shared Outcomes Fund awarded by HMT.
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Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.