Posted on Sixteen:Nine Jun2021
- Once again the rise of the BT internet kiosk. We remember them back in early 2000s (2003 to be exact). Remember Marconi and 20,000 kiosks? We think they market IP now.
- Looks they have mostly given up on being a transactional device limited to mobile proxy. Probably sell advertising space and hold onto their Pops (physical locations in old speak).
- Interesting that the CO2 and air quality detectors are included
- New ‘Street Hub 2.0’ units to help local communities stay connected, boost 4G/5G mobile coverage and bring environment monitoring to high streets
- Street Hubs form part of BT’s plan to transform the UK’s streets with a future-proofed digital communications service designed for the 21st Century
- New units to start rolling out across cities throughout the UK later this year
From the BT website:
James Browne, Head of Street at BT, said: “Street Hubs form part of BT’s plan to transform the UK’s streets with a digital communications service designed for the 21st Century. I’m really excited that we’re now evolving the service even further with a newly designed ‘Street Hub 2.0’ unit which is more sustainable, while delivering free public Wi-fi services and improved 4G/5G mobile coverage to local communities. The free digital services provided by our Street Hub units can play an important role in helping to revive the UK’s high streets following the pandemic. We are working closely with local councils and communities to introduce the new units to more parts of the country, enhancing the UK’s future digital infrastructure, and bringing benefits to residents, businesses and tourists alike.”
Sustainable design is at the core of the new unit offering. Working with tech scale-up Everimpact via BT’s Green Tech Innovation Platform, air quality and CO2 sensors can be built into the new units. This will provide actionable environmental insights to help local councils achieve their sustainability goals such as becoming carbon neutral by 2030, a target that nearly two thirds of local authorities have made. Supporting the clean air initiatives of local authorities will lead to improved air quality, in turn benefiting the health of local communities.
Street Hubs connect to ultrafast free public Wi-Fi, with an outdoor Wi-Fi access point connected directly to the fibre broadband network, bringing speeds of up to 1Gbps to users within 150m of the unit. The new Street Hub 2.0 units can also incorporate 4G and 5G small cells to help improve network coverage and capacity for local residents, local businesses and visitors to high streets.
For local businesses, the upgraded units also feature an accessible digital advertising solution run by Global, BT’s advertising partner. The advertising solution is designed to support the marketing needs of local businesses, helping them to rebuild brand awareness as Covid-19 restrictions continue to lift across the country. Each local authority is also provided with 5% of total screen time on each Street Hub to promote local municipal services and better inform the local community about developments or issues affecting their area. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic, existing Street Hub units across the country played a vital role in displaying key public health advice from Public Health England and local councils.
Subject to local planning processes, BT’s ambition is to roll out more than 200 Street Hub 2.0 units to new sites across the UK over the next year.
Excerpt from Sixteen:Nine :
British telecoms giant BT is expanding its network of what it calls Street Hubs – Digital OOH displays with smart city components – in both existing and new sites around the U.K.
BT intends to add as many 200 second-generation versions of the digital totems in the coming year, using a new enhanced design called Street Hub 2.0. There are already some 400 first-gen units out there, launched when BT was just a supporter of the start-up InLink, which went under and BT picked up.
I don’t know who previously had the display deal but Trueform Digital is called out as the “newly-appointed hardware supplier.” Manchester-based ADXBA is the technology, software and support supplier for the street units.