Hull schools and community groups to get free access to open network in bid to create 'smart city'

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 19 Jul 2018

Community groups and schools will soon be able to access a free open network of internet as a tech firm aims to make Hull a leading “smart city.”

Connexin’s new network will cover all areas of Hull and push out into areas of the East Riding, in a bid to improve STEM learning in subjects including English and maths.

Hull City Council has praised the move, and said Hull is now pushing to be “one of the UK’s leading smart cities.”

Furqan Alamgir, Connexin CEO, said: “We are incredibly proud to deliver the UK’s largest commercial carrier-grade LoRaWAN network in Hull.

“As a local business, our passion for the North has always been part of our DNA – so we are excited for Hull to be seen as a key player at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.

“By investing in and building this infrastructure, Connexin will provide a platform for public sector, community groups, education and research providers, industry, businesses and entrepreneurs to develop their smart applications and ideas.”

Read more: Plans for new £5m data centre which will create 60 jobs approved

The new network provides coverage and connectivity across the city and surrounding areas.

It will provide low-cost, low-power connectivity, according to Connexin, and will be able to support millions of wireless devices.

The same network will be used to power Hull’s new smart bins, a pilot project to improve waste collection.

Connexin has also revealed an open network will be available for hobbyists, community groups and educational organisations such as schools.

While free access is limited, it is designed to enable eligible groups to use the main features available through the new network.

Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for economic investment at Hull City Council, said: “Hull is now pushing to be one of the UK’s leading smart cities, and we are always keen to explore ways in which we can make our services much more effective.

“The delivery of this technology already enables us to provide an improved service for our residents with the roll-out of smart bins.  We are delighted to see how this vision can be developed across the authority.”

Read more: Connexin joins prestigious programme for high growth companies

LoRaWAN, which stands for Long Range Wide Area Network, will help Hull to accelerate its bid to be one of the UK’s leading smart cities and enable a wide range of smart city services and applications.

It aims to improve the lives of people in Hull through smart parking, lighting, transport and waste management capabilities.

Mr Alamgir said: “This pioneering work in Hull will enable us to support other cities to transform their services through carrier-grade LoRaWAN across the country.

“As we expand these networks, we will realise our vision to make the UK one of the smartest countries in the world.”

Details on how groups can sign up and access the free open network will be released soon.

You can also contact Connexin to register an interest and to find out more. 

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