IoT network availability in the Isle of Man

20 November 2020

As promised in my first post, I want to keep you updated with where we are at with the IoM Government Accelerator programme for IoT (Internet of Things).

It’s been a busy month and I’m delighted to share that our new IoT network is available in several areas of the Island already, we estimate that about 70% of our geographical area is covered.  There are more gateways to roll out which should take us to well over 90% before the end of the year.

You can see this picture starting to build on a real time mapping application developed by technology partner Manx Technology Group, where the positions are plotted by taking a handheld field testing device out and about.   We will keep building up this map as we drive test more roads and walk through rural locations too.  If you have a project idea and are unsure if the service would be available do let me know and I can arrange to test at your chosen site/s as a priority.

I’ve had some great conversations with many people both on and off Island over the last few weeks; from those interested in being part of a Trial Isle ecosystem to test solutions to problems, to those who want to find out more about how IoT may benefit them in different aspects of their work, study or home life.

We will be adding some resource documents to our website soon, describing some of the different types of sensors that are available and bringing that to life with some links to case studies and reference guides.  There will also be information about different technology options and how it all fits together for those who are interested to learn more.

To give you some food for thought, the LoRa Alliance (a non-profit association who enable, develop and promote their Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networking protocol) have some great resources including a grouping of examples that illustrate how IoT is playing a part towards the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals that represent what we should be striving towards for a peaceful and prosperous planet.

We are working on bringing to life some public trials in the coming weeks and months, and a key area of focus is on how we can ensure a healthier environment.  When talking about air quality people often assume you mean outdoors but I’ve been reading with interest how differing levels of CO2 exposure can impact our health and wellbeing.  If we aren’t monitoring this information then we won’t know if building ventilation is working effectively and aren’t able to take action to improve it.

How can you get involved?

As mentioned last time our goal is to promote the use of IoT for the social and economic development of the Island.  To increase awareness in schools, businesses, organisations and government departments, but equally to understand more about what is already happening in this space on-Island, share best practice and encourage collaboration.

Please get in touch if you think you fall in one or more of the following categories:

  • Are you already using IoT on the Isle of Man? You may wish to explore with us whether that is something that we can help you publicise, a Smart Island can benefit all of us in many different ways.
  • Do you have problems in your working life you suspect could be helped by technology and are unsure where to start? If for example you have to drive for many extra hours each week to check on something remote from your usual location, perhaps water levels in an animal trough or how much is in a shared resource like a salt bin or recycling station, how much time, money and air pollution could we save if we invested a relatively small amount?
  • Do you have an audience in mind who may benefit from considering IoT in an educational setting no matter the age or experience level? We are looking to the future and want to support building digital skills for future roles, or assist those looking for guidance on reskilling.
  • Are you someone working on IoT solutions; whether hardware, software, connectivity, data analytics, applications, researchers or more, and looking for a testbed for developing your tech trial ideas in a supportive and discrete environment like the Isle of Man?

I look forward to sharing stories of how we have matched solutions providers and researchers to problems that need to be solved, IoT Isle of Man is something I strongly believe in.

by Sarah Ennett, IoT Manager, Digital Isle of Man