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How smart are our cities?

PUBLISHED: 09:52 24 January 2019

Jo Cracknell, Director of Sales at Bamboo

Jo Cracknell, Director of Sales at Bamboo

Archant

Smart buildings, smart transport, smart people....We need to future-proof our cities in this age of smart technology, writes Joanna Cracknell, Director of Sales at Bamboo

The impact of the Internet of Things on our daily lives is increasing by the day. This, aligned with exponential growth of energy consumption, particularly mobile and internet usage across the world, brings a need to ‘future-proof’ our cities and ensure we have the infrastructure to increase growth, not halt it, in the coming years.

In our last article, my colleague Kevin Harris, Director of Operations, discussed smart buildings and the implications they will have on our lives in the coming years. But how are those principles up-scaled to create a ‘smart’ city?

In a recent study conducted by Smart Cities World, in association with Philips Lighting, it was revealed that inter-operability of systems, city wide connectivity and security are the key components. Whilst open data/sharing of data, citizen engagement and enhanced services for citizens were cited as the most important requirements for a smart city.

So who is ahead of the game on the world stage? The three top smart cities (nominated out of 42) were Singapore, London and Barcelona. Singapore placed first as: “It showcases good examples of forward-thinking infrastructure, smart transportation, smart buildings, smart underground pedestrian malls to reduce the number of people crossing the road and smart environment”.

And whilst London placed second, what is holding Gloucestershire and the rest of the UK back?

In cities and towns across the UK, we are still reliant on old technologies that are struggling to keep up with the pace of change. Currently, only 4% of the UK is utilising FTTP (fibre to the premise), compared with 99% in South Korea and 97% in Japan. Introducing pure fibre infrastructure or ‘Gigabit cities’ as our partners at CityFibre have named them, will be a strong first step - fuelled by FTTP replacing copper cable with a fibre optic, future-proof alternative that can carry more data over longer distances.

The Future Telecoms Infrastructure Report (FTIR) states that full fibre coverage will be achieved across the UK by 2023 and widespread 5G availability will come in 2027. Collaboration again, is key to the speed of development and implementation of these technologies – creating solutions such as smart lighting, smart parking sensors and even smart dustbins which all transfer information to the relevant authorities who can then take action improve the efficiencies of these cities.

Gloucestershire is already making strides as the first city in the UK to implement the three in one CCTV, Wi-Fi and 4G solution, winning the prestigious Gordon McLanaghan award and in addition, there are plans to build the UK’s first Digital Retail Innovation Centre in Gloucester which will act as a test-bed for these technologies. And that’s before we even mention the newly announced investment of £22 million for the Cyber Business Park announced by Gloucestershire County Council and G-First LEP recently.

Here at Bamboo, our latest contribution to this phenomenon comes in the form of an enterprise-grade Managed 4G Router. The growth in popularity of pop up stands and stalls that need secure, strong connection that is essential in various areas – from the built environment such as construction sites to music venues and on-street retail. As temporary services that require fast and secure installation, waiting for a fixed line connection can often be unviable or cause delays to project lead times. Here’s where we come in, with a safe, immediate solution that uses smart technology to help avoid installation delays, adding piece of mind and improving everyone’s experiences with these services.

Want to know more about smart connectivity in all its forms? Don’t get left behind, get in touch: hello@bamboo.tech.

Visit the Bamboo website here.

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