Transforming Scotland’s Public Services With IoT
Could the Internet of Things revolutionise Scotland’s public services SWAN Network? A new proposal from Capita and CENSIS believes it can.
The Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) is a single, secure, shared network used by Scotland’s public sector. Supplied by Capita IT, the network is used by schools, hospitals, council offices, GP surgeries and pharmacies.
Now Capita and the SWAN Innovation Forum, is proposing to roll out Internet of Things (IoT) capability across the SWAN Network. By integrating support for IoT smart devices and sensors into the widely-used network, Capita hopes to transform the capabilities of Scotland’s public sector to access new and innovative services that will support transformation across the country.
According to Capita, the new IoT capability for the SWAN Network will providing better and more accurate data on factors including water levels, air quality, footfall analysis and provide additional analytics for future health and social care services.
A Scotland Wide Network
The SWAN Network already includes 6,000 sites across Scotland, 52 member organisations including 50% of the country’s local authorities, 250 unbundled exchanges, and over 7000km of fibre circuits, giving SWAN the ability to deliver an IoT network to a wide geographical area far more rapidly than would otherwise be possible.
The Scottish Innovation Centre for Sensor & Imaging Systems (CENSIS) has provided leadership and engineering expertise to the initiative, which will see a cutting-edge LoRaWAN (Long Range Low Power Wide Area Network) integrated into SWAN. LoRaWAN makes it possible to collect and send data over long distances and at low cost, with power usage so low that sensors and devices connected to the network can last for years on a single battery – making it well suited for difficult-to-reach locations.
Subject to final approval of the SWAN Management Board, phase one of the roll out will comprise of a number of gateways based on Cisco’s IOT technology, strategically located across Scotland.
Eddie Cronie, Managing Director, Capita SWAN, said:
“We are delighted to further our relationship with the SWAN members and deploying IOT across the nation demonstrates the value of SWAN in support and the delivery of the Scottish Government Digital Strategy.
“This was truly a cross-functional team who managed to pull this together, including NSS (NHS National Services Scotland), Scottish Government and SWAN Innovation Forum members, and we are confident that the introduction of IoT will lead technology innovation in the public sector and transform the public services delivered across Scotland.”
Ron MacDonald, Associate Director, NSS said:
“This further emphasises the benefits of SWAN to rural and urban areas, and demonstrates what is possible through public sector collaborative working.
“We see many of the SWAN members working on IOT projects and this announcement will further accelerate the adoption of IOT technologies to drive change within the Public Sector in Scotland.”
Dr Mark Begbie, Business Development Director, CENSIS, told DIGIT:
“Rolling out IoT capability across SWAN will realise a vision shared by CENSIS and Capita. With nationwide IoT connectivity, Scotland’s public sector can improve the way data is gathered and used – opening the way for better delivery and planning of public services.
“Through SWAN, the gains will be brought to rural and remote areas of Scotland – delivering the Scottish Government’s “outside-in” approach.’
“We’re proud to have been asked to play a key role in fostering the collaboration, infrastructure, new technology and business models, building on the work of the Scottish Government Public Wireless Programme, that made this initiative possible.
“Bringing together public- and private-sector agencies, we’ve worked successfully with Capita and a number of SWAN members to deliver against the Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy, proving the value of this technology through pilot projects now poised to result in concrete benefits.”
Tony Gribben, Cisco, Scotland Country Manager, said:
“Cisco is thrilled to be the technology partner that will power the upcoming SWAN IoT network in Scotland. The innovation that IoT enables, creates tremendous opportunity for cost saving and efficiency to ensure our public services are able to provide the type of world-leading services that they aspire to.
“Cisco’s LoRaWAN-compliant solution connects IoT endpoints across cities or rural areas, at low cost and with low power consumption. Cisco’s LoRaWAN based technology is well positioned to help enable the Scottish Government to deliver on its Smart Cities and Smart Scotland agenda.”