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ICT Solutions News Desk

Could you help us extend Norfolk's Internet of Things Innovation Network?

Posted on 25/01/2023 15:38:09

The Norfolk and Suffolk Innovation Network is the largest free public sector Long Range Wide Area Network (LoraWAN) deployment in the UK, funded by the Local enterprise partnership it delivers county wide connectivity to support large amounts of Internet of Things "IoT" sensors. It has the overall objective of kick-starting innovation in the region and enabling local business, schools, colleges, and individuals to learn, trial, prototype and develop IoT services with this new technology.

We are looking for more schools and other premises where we can install a IoT Gateway to extend the coverage of the Internet of Things network

What is it used for?

The Network is a community-based resource, and we are working closely with many different interested groups to build solutions, such as supporting Adult Social Services to identify where the network can be used to help vulnerable people throughout your community. 

The network is also already being used for such things as Crop Management at Ben Burgess monitoring crop growth, water precipitation, soil dynamics; If your school has an allotment/gardening project maybe we can help install similar sensors to the ones being utilised by Ben Burgess.

School children of all ages have been using IoT to create projects; NCC and ICT Solutions will be working in collaboration to encourage the usage of IoT throughout schools in Norfolk. Using Arduino boards, it's possible for children to create and learn about sensors for a multitude of applications i.e. air quality sensors, rainfall sensors.

Other uses across the county include water level monitoring on the Norfolk Broads, desk occupancy and road temperature sensors to support the winter gritting program but has unlimited applications. We are also looking to support air quality management, farm protection, flood awareness and many other use cases to support the county.

What is the device, and have you installed any already?

The gateway itself is approximately the size of a home router/tablet/small laptop with an antenna approximate 0.60m in length. These gateways require an ethernet connection to them and they work on 'line of sight' so higher buildings work best.

We have already had these devices installed at 99 locations including Rackheath Primary School, Magdalen Gates Primary School, Mile Cross Primary School, Coltishall Primary School, Thorpe High School, Broadland Academy in Hoveton, Alderman Peel High School, Springwood High School and we are currently speaking with several other Trusts, schools, and academies throughout Norfolk.

We also have gateways installed at Norwich County Hall, Norwich Millennium Library, Gressenhall Museum, Kings’ Lynn, Dereham, Swaffham, Great Yarmouth, Wroxham, Acle, N Walsham, Aylsham plus several other Fire Stations throughout Norfolk but are looking for further suitable buildings to help this project and provide the network across the county to complete the project.

Health and Safety

Please note that the frequency of this equipment will not interfere with CCTV or any other wireless equipment. All the installs are carried out with completed Risk Assessment and Method Statements plus the Council Legal Department has drawn up a letter explaining that the council must cover all costs for the install and continued maintenance of these devices and that we'd be liable in the event of any damage because of these installs. There is no downtime of network or your buildings services during the installs.

Contact Us

I hope that this explains a little about what we'd like to do and the next step, if you'd allow us, is for me to arrange a suitable and convenient time for myself and possibly an engineer to visit the site to see if what we are proposing is actually viable. We will, of course, adhere to any site rules and any other regulations currently determined by COVID-19.

If you're interested in hosting a gateway or want more details about what the Internet of Things could do for you and your business, please email Steve Boyd or Ali Cubitt on the following email address - in@norfolk.gov.uk