back to article BT and Neul ink gov-funded deal: Milton Keynes to be test bed for Internet of Stuff

A taxpayer-subsidised project to run a test network for Machine-to-Machine communications – aka the Internet of Things – is getting underway in Milton Keynes, with kit being supplied by Brit telco BT and wireless bods at Neul. The main purpose behind the scheme is for Whitehall to get the one-time state monopoly and the …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please Govt

    Give more of my hard earned tax to big UK monopolies, they need it to help them compete in tough markets.

  2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    And once it's live?

    Then they install the special chip in the residents' heads and soon they too have become just 'things' for GCHQ and Theresa May to monitor! Aaaargh!


  3. Anonymous Coward

    Ah the Utopia vision

    "This could include anything from intelligent monitoring of parking spaces in the city to networked bins which signal when they need collecting,"

    And now back to reality

    "This could include anything from intelligent monitoring of parking violations in the city to networked bins which signal when they have the wrong items in, or exceed the households weekly allowance allowing an automated fine to be sent"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ah the Utopia vision

      Another bit of reality. You go to boil the kettle to make a pot of tea and it responds, 'I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that because there are not enough windmills generating at the moment.'

      Energy usage control by the back door.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "city of Milton Keynes"

    Where is this place? Not confusing it with the *town* of Milton Keynes?

    1. Grikath

      Dunno about city or town. All I ever remember people saying about that place is in the "wouldn't be caught dead there" ** category.

      ** Various forms of slang and/or expletives may have coloured this. It sure expanded my english vocabulary in a way my english teachers did not appreciate.

  5. John 156

    "BT's corporate IT practice boss Alan Ward said that a variety of applications could be cooked up using the infrastructure."

    Always best to find the solution before defining the problem.

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      > Always best to find the solution before defining the problem.

      And there lies the path to corporate success. Just like it's always best to define the target after you take the shot.

      (errr, yeah, that's what I was aiming at!)

  6. Bryn Evans
    Big Brother


    The day my 'Fridge starts delivering adverts or ordering supplies from TesBuryRose will be the day it goes to the Dump.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Re-Cycle!

      "I see that you're disposing of a large metallic 'white goods' item. The appropriate recycling and chemical disposal fee will be automatically added to your council tax bill."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Re-Cycle!

      More an Aldi man, are you?

  7. martin 62

    some whellie bins aready are "smart"

    some councils trialed a system in 2006 which reports to a central database

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No high hopes here...

    The only bins in MK are the green ones for garden waste and the blue buckets for glass, everything else is pink and black sacks.

    BT's service has been patchy at times too.

    Well, I suppose for a project that might get only half finished before the flaws are discovered, Milton Keynes is the place to come to...

  9. Pete 2 Silver badge

    A rubbish network

    > networked bins which signal when they need collecting

    Not that anyone will take any notice: "Oooh, look. The bin at number 23 is full. Quick! send a rubbish truck round immediately to empty it."

    Since councils ignored all their residents when they unilaterally decided to empty bins every 2 weeks (whether they stank or not), rather than every week, the chances of them using this technology to improve the service is as likely as the urban foxes these over-full bins / bags / boxes [ delete according to which dumb scheme your council randomly selected ] attract taking the rubbish to the tip, themselves.

    Much more likely is the oft-suggested scheme of charging people (a second time: on top of the council tax already paid to empty the bins) according to the quantity of refuse.

  10. Swarthy Silver badge

    Obligitory Pratchett

    "Note for Americans and other aliens: Milton Keynes is a new city

    approximately halfway between London and Birmingham. It was built to be

    modern, efficient, healthy, and, all in all, a pleasant place to live.

    Many Britons find this amusing."

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Obligitory Pratchett

      I think it's the name that throws us Americans for a loop. We think that Milton must be a celebrity or at the very least, a mediocre comedian.

  11. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Another reason not to move to Milton Keynes. ?

    You decide.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Another reason not to move to Milton Keynes. ?

      Apart from the bizarredly calcinated cows one finds from time to time?

  12. phil dude


    For parking spaces that would be nice, and here in some parts of the US has been around for a few years.

    Although, not in the City own parking garages!

    Amazing how simple some of these problems are to solve, and yet they never seem to be.

    Heathrow has the "this floor full" sign, but I don't know if that is accurate or not...


  13. Ray Foulkes

    IPv6 anyone?

    Notice that this does not include provision for the sheeple. One day BT might start to think about providing IPv6 for other than big brother projects and let the rest of us in on the Internet of things.

  14. Andy Livingstone

    Cut from earlier post to say more than enough........"One day BT might start to think"

  15. Bob H

    It is worth noting that IoT isn't about providing internet access to devices, it is about connecting intelligent devices to networks for telemetry and control purposes.

    I have seen presentations by Neul and I am impressed with what is possible with 'Weightless', very low power data collection without the overheads of mobile networks.

    The saddest thing is that it will get caught up in the BT management processes, burdened with consultants and their interesting project management.

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