Bristol Is Open welcomes smart city startups

Bristol Is Open is calling for projects and partners to trial their smart city technology on its citywide network test bed.

Bristol Is Open is an experimental optic fibre broadband, wireless and high performance computing infrastructure that can be used to study telecommunication, software, hardware, data and sensing technologies. It currently has around 10 projects running on the platform, covering areas such as smart home and energy, live energy consumption data from smart goods, and air quality and mobility data to help identify the least polluted and safest routes to walk around the city.

The project is a joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol.

Now project leaders are inviting academics, startups, SMEs, mid-size through to large corporates and government organisations to use the network in the testing, exploration and development of their smart city products and services.

Bristol Is Open is particularly keen to hear from people developing solutions for the health and life-expectancy of citizens, traffic flow, air quality, AI and 5G communications.

Julie Snell, managing director of Bristol Is Open, explained: “True smart city innovation positively impacts on citizens’ lives, whether we are aware of it or not, and that is at the centre of our purpose.

“We are driving citizen wellbeing improvements through technical and digital means by partnering with community and urban organisations such as Knowle West Media Centre and we want to do more. Our living lab allows for street-level projects to be rigorously tested on our private, secure network to manage risk and feasibility before implementation.”

The current Bristol Is Open infrastructure consists of a fully self-contained, closed research and development network. This is made up of a city ring of high speed bandwidth via fibre with multiple wireless technologies, including Wi-FI, a low power wireless lamp post canopy mesh, 2G, 3G, 4G and some 5G technology available. What this adds up to is a city-owned optic fibre ring network that allows Bristol to experiment with smart city solutions at scale.

So far the project has welcomed BT, who collaborated with a team of engineers from the Universities of Bristol and Lund, to test 5G connectivity.

More information about Bristol Is Open or to apply to use the network, more information can be found at bristolisopen.com

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