Smart Infrastructure Pilots Programme (SIPP)

About the Programme

The Smart Infrastructure Pilots Programme (SIPP) competition was run by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) from 15 June 2023 to 7 July 2023. The competition offered a total of £1.5 million for 6 local authority-led pilots to be matched by smart service providers working with the participating local authorities. 

The primary objective of the project is to improve the understanding and realisation of the benefits of utilising street furniture and other assets for mobile network deployment. In other words, we want people, businesses and public services to realise the benefits of 5G and other advanced wireless connectivity through using street furniture in their local area. Successful authorities will lead pilot projects to help better understand the benefits of using street furniture and other assets for network deployment.

Further Information

The programme supports the implementation of the Government’s UK Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, which sets out a clear vision for how advanced wireless infrastructure can become an integral part of the fabric of the UK’s economy and society by 2030.

SIPP aims to help promote greater knowledge of future demand and requirements for infrastructure and services, as well create efficiencies in network rollout; new opportunities across the supply chain; and innovative commercial models for deploying infrastructure.

Our Plans for Oxford

Oxfordshire County Council entered this competition and won £250k funding, and with this funding, the Digital Infrastructure and Innovation teams will purchase and test “smart” (PAS191) multi-purpose columns for mobile and wireless connectivity services, and other relevant uses, which will help to improve connectivity for the local community. 

Specifically, we will purchase 15 smart, multi-purpose lighting columns from supplier Signify which will be installed in Oxford for mobile and wireless connectivity services. The plan is for the columns to provide a 1.5km ‘connected corridor’ route from the revamped Oxford train station up to the city centre, which will provide free Wi-Fi for visitors and residents. 

But the connected corridor is not limited to providing opportunities for tourism and residents; it will also provide connectivity opportunities for transport, local commerce, education, and other use cases. Wi-Fi will be available for the public, traders, and small businesses, but there will also be private connectivity options for things like CCTV and IoT sensors for traffic/parking etc. 

This project is a sandbox environment, enabling us to test multiple use-cases which if successful can be extended beyond the initial first year of operation and also can be extended in scope – i.e. further around Oxford. 

We aim to test the benefits of the use cases, and we hope that the connected corridor can be extended to cover additional strategically important routes across the city.  

We have a vision for enabling a Smart County and this project, if successful, will form the connectivity foundations upon which we can iteratively build and develop multiple use cases which will benefit the city.

The work should be contracted by June 2024, with work commencing shortly thereafter. It will be operational by December and run for at least 12 months, whereafter we would look at continuing subject to funding being agreed.

We welcome feedback from local residents and businesses as well as potential partners from the supply chain who could have a role in fulfilling our smart county vision. To get in touch with us, please visit our contact page.

Skip to content