£5 million smart city data centre to open later this year

Connexin are looking to work with more local authorities outside of Hull in 2018, following major investment last year.

UK internet firm Connexin is building a state of the art £5 million data centre, designed to help Hull become a UK smart city.

Opening in December 2018, it will create 60 new jobs including engineers, technicians, sales staff and event managers who will invite local schools to use the space for learning about how the internet works.

Connexin provides Wi-Fi for Hull and for connected devices such as road sensors, energy and security systems. Its broadband service will offer speeds of up to 60 Mbps for people in Hull for £25 a month. The current UK average broadband speed is around 16.5 Mbps which means the UK is lagging behind most of Europe, according to data from broadband advice firm Cable.

What is a smart city?

Smart cities are urban areas that use electronic data collection sensors to manage citizen and device data as well as other assets to monitor infrastructure. These tend to include transport, power, waste management, IT systems, schools and libraries. Other UK towns’ and cities to use smart city technology include Milton Keynes and Southampton.

The new data centre – which is called CXNDC – will create new opportunities for local businesses and technology firms. The 200+ rack facility has been designed to ‘tier-3’ reliability specifications and will bring more than 40,000 Mbps of internet connectivity to the region.

Furqan Alamgir, CEO of Connexin said, ‘Hull is advancing technologically at pace and it’s a privilege to be part of it.’

New investment from the US

In October 2017 Connexin announced it had secured a £10 million investment from Digital Alpha Advisors, in partnership with Cisco Systems to scale up and expand its business.

Commenting on the the investment, Alamgir said, ‘Working together we can more quickly unlock the societal benefits of the internet of things, which means better transport, cleaner streets, improved health and social care.’

‘Smart cities require smart partnerships between the public sector and technology providers. With this backing, we are able to provide local authorities with smart ways to finance technology upgrades that share the risks and the benefits between us and make sense to taxpayers.’

Since Connexin won a 10-year city centre Wi-Fi contract with Hull City Council the company has worked more with local authorities across the UK.

Further reading on smart cities

The Smart City Playbook: can you benchmark success within the smart city model?

Michael Somerville

Uriel Beer

Michael was senior reporter for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2018 to 2019.