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York Council begins LoRaWAN deployment

25/06/18

Deal with Pinacl Solutions supports initiatives to use IoT in managing roads and improving public housing

City of York Council has begun to deploy a LoRa wide area network (WAN) to support internet of things (IoT) initiatives around the city.

Rooftop view of YorkIt has signed a deal with its managed service provider Pinacl Solutions to begin using an open access solution consisting of four initial gateways placed at strategic locations to provide optimum coverage.

York’s head of ICT Roy Grant said the LoRaWAN – which uses unlicensed low frequency radio bands – has been brought in on the back of a successful submission to the Department for Transport (DfT) for funds to support a project to use the IoT to improve transport around the city. The council is developing an ‘intelligent corridor’ to use sensors in monitoring traffic along the A59.

“We’re building these platforms to deal with our transport challenges across the city,” he said. “But it’s also leading us to do other things.”

This could be extended to cover five ‘park and ride’ corridors leading into the city: the plan is to show that it can develop the first successfully then apply to the DfT for further funding.

Housing potential

The council has also begun to work on using the network to support the use of IoT technology in social housing. It has placed sensors into a few homes and is collecting data over the next few months with a view to expanding the programme.

“We’ve got particular problems, because York is in a bowl, with damp, asthma and other conditions, and need to get into preventative action,” Grant said. “Then we want to learn from it for the development of new housing stock, so they will be almost IoT smart houses as we go forward.”

He added that the network could also be used to support the use of digital technology in making the land around the River Ouse safer from flooding, and that the advantages in using a LoRaWAN are that it has a low power requirement and provides for an agile approach in being able to shift the access points easily.

Simon Donnelly, ICT digital manager for the council, said: “By generating city-scale intelligence across many of our key assets, it will enable us to realise significant efficiencies through early intervention and more targeted resourcing, in turn creating better outcomes for our customers.”

Pinacl has already provided a dark fibre network – utilising otherwise unused optical fibre – that has been connected to the council’s offices, libraries and schools and used to support traffic management and CCTV systems.

Image: York from the top of York Minster by fionasjournal, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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