Milton Keynes to host Internet of Things network

Milton Keynes Council  has signed a collaboration agreement to build and test an Internet of Things (IoT) network in the city.

The council has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Open University, The Connected Digital Economy Catapult , and The Future Cities Catapult UK catapult plus  two  ICT suppliers – BT and Neul Ltd.

The agreement will see the creation of a city-wide, open access demonstration network for machine to machine communications and the Internet of Things.

The project will test the ability of a city-wide M2M infrastructure to cope with a large number of static and mobile sensors.

Some of these will support use cases for the council. The partners also hope to attract other innovators to use the infrastructure as a test bed for commercial applications.

Geoff Snelson, director of strategy at the council, said: “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 ecosystem of IoT development.”

Alan Ward, head of corporate ICT practice at BT, said that the network could include functions including the monitoring of parking spaces to networked bins which signal when they need collecting.

Stan Boland, chief executive of Neul, said: “The collaboration will deploy large numbers of IoT sensors over its eighteen month span as well as proving a range of different business models in a real world environment.

“It is intended that it will remain as a long term development environment and platform for IoT innovation, attracting global companies to Milton Keynes.”

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to a world where machines are provided with unique identifiers and can transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

Colin Marrs

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