The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has begun to investigate the potential for a public services network around the city.
It is looking at the possible benefits of a city-wide network as opposed to individual networks run by local authorities in the region, and aiming to develop a business case for investment.
The authority has published a market notice for support in a discovery phase that could run up to a year if it leads to a tendering process for the network.
It has identified a problem with the public sector bodies around Manchester operating their own networks, with a duplication of cost and effort and making it difficult to make progress with smart place initiatives around the city. But it acknowledged the benefits are not yet sufficiently understood and documented to support an investment.
Manchester has been the venue for significant smart places initiatives, notably the CityVerve programme and Manchester City Council’s involvement in the Europe-wide Synchronicity programme to explore the use of internet of things technology.
Last year GMCA took steps towards the provision of a fibre-to-the-premises broadband network for over 1,300 public sector sites around the city.
Image from Silver Peak