Public Sector

Published: January 5, 2020 | Updated: January 5, 2020

‘Trailblazing’ project for £1.3m Smart Place pilot, including 5G, given the green light

An aerial shot of the Lansdowne area of Bournemouth. Picture: BCP Council.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A £1.3m project to run a Smart Place pilot – including a 5G network in Bournemouth – has been given the go-ahead.

Initially based in the Lansdowne the pilot will offer businesses and new start-ups the opportunity to develop 5G-enabled machines and applications.

It is expected to attract further investment to the area and create around 200 new jobs in the first two years.

BCP Council is trailblazing the scheme in the town which will provide a high-tech fibre optic testbed and increased wifi connectivity speed.

Work on the project – now approved by BCP Council’s Cabinet – is expected to start within months.

Cllr Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council, said; “We are incredibly excited to be pushing forward with the Smart Place pilot at Lansdowne.

“This will help us understand how 5G and other new technologies could help us improve public services and quality of life for residents.

“The Smart Place pilot is not just about faster data speeds through 5G.

Cllr Vikki Slade, BCP Council Leader.

“It will enable things and machines to connect to the internet and gives us the capacity in the network to do this.

“The opportunities that all this creates for our local communities and future generations will be dramatically transformative.

“From a social care perspective it will lead to the development of applications that will enable residents to lead longer and healthier lives at home leading to greater independence.

“In health, it will enable people to monitor and manage minor health conditions themselves.

“From a transport perspective it will help us manage our traffic network more efficiently by spotting incidents earlier, re-directing traffic and reducing congestion.

“We already have a large digital and creative sector based at Lansdowne and this pilot will be a massive boost to what has already become a leading business district in the region.”

Funded by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), the £1.3m project is expected to attract further investment to the area and create around 200 new jobs in the first two years.

Work to design the Smart Place pilot will get underway this year.