Milton Keynes is to become one of the first cities in the UK to have a city-wide, open access Internet of Things (IoT) network.
A group including telecoms giant BT, cloud company Neul and catapults (innovation organisations) Future Cities and Connected Digital Economies is set to deliver the 18-month Open University and Milton Keynes Council supported project.
These organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that they will work together to build the IoT network for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
It is hoped the project will demonstrate the ability of a large M2M infrastructure to cope with high numbers of both static and mobile sensors.
The main purpose of the proposed network is to attract other innovators to use the framework to test commercial applications, although it is also expected to support use cases for the city’s local authority.
BT and Neul are responsible for managing and supplying the technology, building a set of base stations to provide coverage for low power, connected sensors.
“Milton Keynes is already known as a pioneer in the use of technology to make our city more efficient, as evidenced by the current MK:Smart project,” claimed Geoff Snelson, the council’s director of strategy.
“This agreement demonstrates our commitment to extending that to a city-wide level of access. As well as providing a test-bed for our own specific use cases, this will bring new innovation and business development to the city, creating an eco system of IoT development,” he added.
The project, which will deploy a large number of IoT sensors over the next 18 months, is expected to last as a long-term development and platform for innovation in the area, attracting global businesses to the city.