Digital infrastructureSmart CitiesBristol opens citywide test bed network to smart city project providers

Bristol opens citywide test bed network to smart city project providers

Bristol is Open (BiO) is inviting project providers and partners to test their smart city technology on its citywide network test bed

Bristol is Open (BiO) is inviting project providers and partners to test their smart city technology on its citywide network test bed.

BiO is keen to explore how tech can positively impact on livelihoods and at scale, driving the development of ‘technoethics’ in developing a future Smart City that benefits everyone.

BiO is an ambitious programme that has resulted so far in a strong Internet of Things network test bed and a city operations centre that is beginning to make a real impact on broader city policy. The leaders of the organisation have been praised for understanding that becoming a Smart City is not a destination to arrive at, but a new process for managing how cities, regional authorities and agencies work together. Technology alone cannot meet the digital expectations of today’s citizens. It must be coupled with an organisational structure and a mindset that embraces digital innovation.

Bristol is Open is a tool designed to positively affect process and policy changes at the municipal level, and impact everything a city does such as energy conservation, air quality/pollution, transportation, connectivity, and data collection and sharing amongst others.

Julie Snell, Managing Director at Bristol is Open, commented: “Bristol is Open has an exciting future. True smart city innovation positively impacts on citizen’s lives, whether we are aware of it or not, and that is at the centre of our purpose. We are driving citizen wellbeing improvements through technical and digital means by partnering with community and urban organisations such as Knowle West Media Centre and we want to do more. Our living lab allows for street level projects to be rigorously tested on our private, secure network to manage risk and feasibility before implementation.”

Julie continued: “Our network is available to academics, start ups, SMEs, mid size through to large corporates and government organisations. They can use the network in the testing, exploration and development of products and services that could then lead to commercial product improvements and launch. Our ultimate goal is to be a test bed for delivering Smart City technologies to improve the way Bristol works, especially around the health and life-expectancy of citizens, traffic flow, air quality, AI and 5G communications. Bristol is Open is here to support and develop your business, especially if it requires city data collection, a cyber-secure and completely private fibre optic network for software, and hardware testing. If you have an interesting tech approach to smart city infrastructure, we want to hear from you.”

Bristol is Open is an experimental fibre broadband, wireless and high-performance computing infrastructure that will stimulate and study the convergence in cities of different telecommunication, software, hardware, data and sensing technologies. It currently has around 10 projects running on the platform, covering areas such as smart home and energy, live energy consumption data from smart goods, and air quality and mobility data to help identify the least polluted and safest routes to walk around the city.

The current BiO infrastructure consists of an optic fibre ring with four network nodes at WeThe Curious, Watershed, Engine Shed, University of Bristol MVB with multiple forms of wireless connectivity e.g. WiFi, LiFi, LTE, Mimo, Wiso, 2,3,4,5G and a wide area wireless mesh network.  This optic fibre ring network also links University of Bristol’s own 5G network hardware in the Millennium Square area to the University network. What this adds up to is a unique, city owned private network that allows Bristol to experiment with smart city solutions that can scale.

Bristol is Open’s call out is for projects and partners from all over the globe to use the city’s test bed for scalable, citizen-centric tech collaborations.

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