Smart street lamps charge cars and boost wi-fi in £4m pilot

This month, six UK towns and cities will roll out smart street lamps that can boost wireless coverage, charge electric vehicles, and more.

In the Smart Infrastructure Pilots Programme (SIPP), a government pilot to test next-gen digital technologies, the six local authorities will get £1.3 million in funding and invest £2.7 million themselves, totalling over £4 million.

It’s a response to the growing demand for wireless services, which has companies installing infrastructure on benches, bins, bus stops, CCTV columns, traffic lights and lamp posts. The new smart street lamps will be able to support advanced 5G wireless networks or free public WiFi for people in town and city centres. 

They’ll also be adaptable to do everything from displaying public information to monitoring air quality–as well as providing energy-saving street lighting.

The six local authorities that will receive funding are:

·         Cambridgeshire County Council (£220,000)

·         North Ayrshire Council (£242,765)

·         Oxfordshire County Council (£250,000)

·         Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (£245,700)

·         Tees Valley Combined Authority (£202,500)

·         Westminster City Council (£165,000)

The government will be trying out different uses for the smart street lamps in each area, aiming to show how cutting-edge wireless tech can become an integral part of the nation’s infrastructure, helping public services and businesses get the full benefits of advanced connectivity and 5G. 

It’s part of the Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, which sets out the government’s plans to build wireless connectivity into new and existing infrastructure. The pilot programmes will run from this month until the end of March 2025.

 

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