Smart street lamps that can charge electric vehicles (EVs), boost 5G signal or offer free public WiFi coverage are going to be rolled out in towns and cities across the UK, as part of a £1.3 million pilot to test next-generation digital technologies.
The six authorities which will receive government funding through the Smart Infrastructure Pilots Programme (SIPP) are:
- Cambridgeshire County Council (£220,000)
- Tees Valley Combined Authority (£202,500)
- Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (£245,700)
- Westminster City Council (£165,000)
- Oxfordshire County Council (£250,000)
- North Ayrshire Council (£242,765)
The pilot programmes will begin from October 2023 and will run until 31 March 2025 - successful pilots will match government funding, securing an overall investment exceeding £4 million to enhance local connectivity.
“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,” siad Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale.
“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.”
On-street charging which utilises existing street hardware is a convenient way for drivers without off-street parking to access charging, and ensures that pedestrian spaces do not become more cluttered.