Connexin takes a big stride in its ambition to make Hull a truly digital “smart” city. The contract, which is believed to be worth around £4m, was announced today.
The free Wi-Fi service will cover Queen Victoria Square, King Edward Street, Jameson Street, parts of the Old Town and Marina, as well as the Interchange and areas within all of the major public parks including East, West, Pickering and Pearson. In addition, there will be a number of sites in ‘digital inclusion areas’ including North Bransholme, Orchard Park, Longhill and Preston Road with the opportunity to expand coverage even further across the city.
Furqan Alamgir, Founder & CEO of Connexin said:
“We are building this as our flagship smart city network that will support smart city applications as well as offer free Wi-Fi to users giving access to online services, all day and every day, without signing a long-term broadband contract. We are very excited to be working with the council who are keen on pushing Hull forward as a technology leading city.
“The network will support Wi-Fi roaming. If, for example, you are walking from the top of Whitefriargate to the bottom, you won’t drop your connection. The system will also remember your device so you won’t have to keep logging on, making it easy to use”
“We are building world leading intelligent networks using a mix of fibre and wireless technologies to support the Internet of Things (IOT) and service the growing requirements of “smart” cities such as lighting control, mobile CCTV and traffic management.”
Mr Alamgir said he believed Connexin has been chosen as the provider of choice by the council following a very competitive tendering process because of its technological ability.
He said: “The key is our technology. We have our own team in-house that builds this type of technology and we are able to build solutions that others can’t.”
Councillor Helena Spencer, Portfolio Holder for Business Support said:
“Improving internet connectivity is crucial for our city to realise its potential as a growing digital sector, and in order to attract digitally creative businesses, we need to get ahead with these developments.
“We are delighted to have appointed Connexin, a locally-based company who have a great track record of supplying internet-related services in cities such as Bradford, and we look forward to working with them closely on this huge-scale project designed to get the city connected.
“We want to ensure that both the residents of Hull and visitors to the city will get the most out of our city centre and beyond by providing them with the right tools to access a wealth of information at the touch of a button.
“Only then will Hull become established as a forward-thinking growing hub for digital technologies, leading the way in connectivity.”
Hull City Council has chosen Connexin to build and manage the WiFi network for 10 years. Connexin has already built a super-fast fixed broadband network in Hull, servicing thousands of customers. In addition to their wireless and broadband services, Connexin also offers a state of the art Hosted Phone System which compliments the broadband offering.
Will Kebbell, Head of Technical said:
“Connexin will provide users with up to 50MB worth of free downloads a day, with expected speeds of between 10-15mbs, which is a generous provision for browsing, but can also cope with activities such as streaming short YouTube video content.
“There will also be a list of approved sites such as hullcc.gov.uk, hull2017.co.uk and other socially useful sites based around health or government service which will be free to access regardless of any other download limits.”
Connexin have also acquired the right to use the street furniture, including CCTV poles, benches and lighting columns to supply services to mobile phone companies to boost the capacity of their 4G networks in high footfall areas.
This new project is part of Connexin’s continued promise to invest and further expand their presence in Hull, offering that true alternative which has been so desperately needed for a very long time.