Home | News & Insights | 2017 | Cambridge Ahead launches #CambsNotspotter initiative to help create a hyper-connected city

Cambridge Ahead launches #CambsNotspotter initiative to help create a hyper-connected city


A new crowdsourcing initiative has been launched which will empower Cambridge employees and residents to help provide the city and its surrounding areas with a future-proof connectivity infrastructure.

The morning event on Monday 7th March began with a welcome from our host, Jonathan Agar, CEO of Birketts LLP, followed by an introduction from Faye Holland, Project leader of the Cambridge Ahead Connectivity team. There followed short but informative speeches by members of the Connectivity team and from partner organisations who jointly developed the #CambsNotspotter initiative.

These speakers compromised David Cleevely (Cambridge Entrepreneur & CA member), Sam Westwood (co-founder, OpenSignal), Jon Holgate (Head of Network, University of Cambridge), Noelle Godfrey (Head of Digital Infrastructure, Connecting Cambridgeshire), Andrew Ferguson (Editor, ThinkBroadband), and Andy Smith (CIO, ARM Plc).

The #CambsNotspotter initiative
The aim of this initiative is to crowdsource vital data that can be used to help plug gaps in fixed and mobile coverage in the area. All Cambridge residents, employees, students and businesses are encouraged to help identify ‘notspots’ (areas of no or low connectivity) by becoming a #CambsNotspotter. By linking up with leading technology testers, the project aims to show where mobile phone signals, Wi-Fi and broadband access are poor then encourage providers to take action to improve them.

There are three ways people can take part:

  1. Participate! Download the ‘OpenSignal’ App from Google Play / App Store and get involved in identifying where there is limited network coverage. 
  2. Log in! Make use of free Wi-Fi in public buildings and open spaces in and around Cambridge by selecting ‘CambWifi’ and ‘the_cloud’ Wi-Fi networks on your device. 
  3. Check your speed! Run an independent broadband speed test for your household or small business broadband.

The anonymised data will provide an initial evidence base showing the actual mobile, public access Wi-Fi and fixed broadband performance experienced by users in the Greater Cambridge area. This will be used to make informed decisions on future network provision to encourage coverage and capacity improvements by mobile carriers and other providers which will mean in the future we will all be able to enjoy good internet access wherever we are.

The initiative supports the work of the Connecting Cambridgeshire superfast broadband rollout, providing free public Wi-Fi with the University of Cambridge, and making smart use of technology to tackle city challenges as part of the Greater Cambridge City Deal.

To find out more please click here.

The launch event took place on at the offices of Birketts LLP (member of Cambridge Ahead) who kindly provided a room with a scenic view at the top of the office building at 22 Station Road, CB1. Over 30 guests attended along with media which included BBC Look East and Cambridge TV.

Please view the following media reports:

Cambridge TV
BBC Look East
Cambridge News
Engineering & Technology magazine


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