Boldyn smart infrastructure pilot for Kingston

  • September 26, 2023
  • William Payne

Boldyn Networks and Kingston Council have partnered to roll out a smart infrastructure pilot across the town of Kingston upon Thames in England. The project will deploy smart columns to boost mobile connectivity, improve council services and enhance public safety. It has been awarded £250,000 of funding by the UK Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).   

Designed by Boldyn Networks, a neutral host provider, each column will host small cells to enhance digital connectivity and improve CCTV camera quality. The cameras will not be used for traffic purposes but will enhance public safety through their deterrence of criminal and anti-social behaviour.   

Kingston Council will deploy approximately 20 CCTV sites with the new smart columns. The design allows the potential to add IoT sensors to improve management of borough services, including the monitoring of road usage, footfall and air quality. 

As part of the project, Boldyn Networks will install a 10.4km fibre ring across the borough that will provide the newly installed smart columns with high-speed connectivity.  

The funding is part of DSIT’s ‘Smart Infrastructure Pilots’ programme, that offered a total of £1.5 million for six local authority-led pilots, that is matched by smart service providers in partnership with the local authorities.  

The pilots aim to support the delivery of the government’s UK Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, to introduce advanced wireless infrastructure to benefit people, businesses and public services across the UK. The winning bids were announced at digital industry event, Connected Britain, in late September.  

The pilot complements Boldyn Networks’ partnership with Transport for London (TfL) to deliver improved connectivity across the capital. This includes the installation of high-speed mobile connectivity across the London Underground network and the delivery of above ground fibre networks to improve connectivity across the capital’s boroughs.  

The pilots will match government funding for this programme, a total investment of over £4 million to help boost local connectivity. The government will provide £1.3 million, while the local authorities will invest a further £2.7 million.   These pilot projects are specifically testing the application of the British Standards Institute Publicly Available Standard 191 (PAS 191) for designing and acquiring new smart infrastructure by local authorities.

Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale said: “The way we stay in touch, access information and do business is underpinned by digital connectivity – and a world-class wireless infrastructure will be the foundation for the jobs, skills, and services of the future. 

“We want to ensure that towns and cities across the UK are right at the forefront of this connectivity revolution, ready to seize the opportunities it will bring for local communities, which is exactly what these pilots are about. 

“They will help demonstrate how advanced wireless technology can enable areas to innovate and deliver better public services, from rolling out electric vehicle chargers to boosting business growth and helping keep our streets safe.” 

Billy D’Arcy, CEO of UK & Ireland at Boldyn Networks, said: “We are delighted that our smart column design has been announced as one of the winners of DSIT’s Smart Infrastructure Pilots programme, alongside our partners at Kingston Council. The funding offers a great opportunity to trial smart infrastructure and showcase the benefits that high-speed connectivity offers to local communities. We’re looking forward to seeing the next-generation columns in action, and supporting the boroughs move towards becoming a smart community.”