Smart lamppost

Advanced digital infrastructure support for local authorities

The government has announced a programme that will ensure that local authorities are able to roll out advanced digital infrastructure in their communities, boosting digital connectivity.

The Smart Infrastructure Pilots Programme (SIPP) will allocate £1.5 million of funding to six local authority pilots, with the initiative being led by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and the Department for Transport. The funding will be matched by smart service providers that will collaborate with the participating authorities to procure and test multi-purpose columns and lamp posts.

With the capacity to deliver a wide range of smart devices, the columns and lampposts will be able to provide services such as improved network connectivity, public Wi-Fi, electric vehicle charging, public safety, and environmental monitoring. This technology has the potential to save money for local authorities, whilst also increasing connectivity and delivering on wider ambitions.

Alongside supporting local authorities, SIPP is also contributing to the government’s goals to realise the full benefits of 5G and other advanced wireless connectivity technology, as established in the recently published Wireless Infrastructure Strategy for people, business, and public services. The announcement also contributed to the government’s overall levelling up ambitions and realising the benefits of good connectivity in communities around the UK.

Jesse Norman, Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, said:

“By turning lamp posts and other road infrastructure into smart devices such as public Wi-Fi points, the government are investing in the ways everyday transport infrastructure can be transformed for a greener, cleaner future.

“This programme will boost connectivity across the country and increase electric vehicle charging access, helping us to reach our net zero goals.”

This announcement comes as part of a package of connectivity initiatives that have been announced during the 10th London Tech Week, with other schemes including connections to high-speed satellite broadband and a Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Australia. The MoU will see the two nations working together to achieve telecoms diversification and reduce global reliance on a small number of vendors.

PSE December/January 2024

PSE December/January 2024

Northumberland’s climate change resource is empowering the next generation

Dive into our latest edition for December/January. Discover insightful articles on climate change, innovation in nuclear decommissioning, fostering collaboration, and more.



View all videos
#PSE365: Public Sector Events

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Virtual Events

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 


Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.


See our full events calendar and register now! 

Public Sector Executive Podcast

Ep 48. Achieving Net Zero - Cllr Abdul Jabbar - Oldham Council

As central government aims for the UK to be net zero by 2050, councils around the country make plans for how to reduce emissions. This episode’s guest, Oldham’s Councillor Abdul Jabbar outlines the importance of coming together to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint, the benefits of achieving net zero, and how Oldham Council are working to do just that.

Touching on the role that the public sector can play in sustainability, Cllr Jabbar said:

“I think it’s really important that the public sector gives true leadership in this space. I think something like one third of the carbon emissions in the country come from the public sector, so obviously we’re a big polluter in terms of the emissions.”

Councillor Jabbar also spoke about challenges being faced by organisations:

“I think the biggest one has been finance. Clearly the local government sector in particular has had its grants cut from central government by a huge amount and that’s had a very big impact in terms of our plans to take forward projects in relation to climate change, so that’s a major issue.”

To hear what Cllr Jabbar has to say about the mission to achieve net zero carbon emissions, listen to the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast.

More articles...

View all