Networked Globe Briefing – 22 May 2014

Today’s Networked Globe briefing has a smart cities theme with the announcement of a city wide project in the  UK and Kansas City joining Cisco’s connected cities program. The smart city field is hotting up with Australia’s Telstra announcing a national Wi-Fi project earlier this week.

Milton Keynes to receive a citywide M2M network

English new town Milton Keynes is to get a citywide M2M network to built by a consortium that includes the city council, various government agencies and communications companies.

The network will be supplied and managed by BT and Neul and be based upon a citywide grid of Weightless base stations providing access for low power, connected sensors.

An aim of the project is to demonstrate how a city-wide M2M infrastructure copes with a large number of static and mobile sensors and the consortium hopes the project will attract many other innovators to use the infrastructure as a test bed for commercial applications.

“We see this exciting project as a means of establishing an open innovation environment to support the creation of Machine to Machine (M2M) and IoT applications across a whole city. This could include anything from intelligent monitoring of parking spaces in the city to networked bins which signal when they need collecting,” said Alan Ward, Head of Corporate ICT Practice at BT.

The city council also sees the rollout as potentially attracting other business to set up operation in the town.

Cisco add Kansas City to its Smart and Connected Cities program

Kansas City will join Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities program to develop a “living lab” in the city’s innovation district. The project will complement a wider effort to build out a two-mile KC Downtown Streetcar path.

The Innovation Lab will serve as an incubator for these open ecosystem participants and the start-up community to develop new solutions to address some of the city’s greatest challenges.

“Today, global competition really is between cities to provide the best quality of life for its citizens, and Kansas City is helping to lead the charge on innovation in the Midwest,” said Wim Elfrink, Cisco’s EVP of industry solutions and chief globalisation officer. “This kind of thought leadership at the municipal level is what helps pave the way for a smarter, more connected and sustainable city.”

The Letter of Internet between the city and Cisco outlines a framework for specific pilot projects around a mobile platform for citizen access and infrastructure sensing, citizen engagement facilitated by digital interactive kiosks and mobile applications, smart street lighting and video surveillance.

About the author

Paul Wallbank is the founding editor of Networked Globe and has nearly twenty years experience of working in and reporting on computers, the internet and the future of our connected society.