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Canadian City Plans IoT Pilots With New LoRa Infrastructure

The city of Fredericton will offer an open data portal for its residents, local entrepreneurs and public employees, which includes data such as the level of the river, car occupancy in handicapped spaces and water consumption in buildings, using IoT network from eleven-x.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 15, 2019

Internet of Things (IoT) technology is helping the Canadian city of Fredericton launch a data-sharing program that will provide its citizens, department managers and employees with access to information regarding the conditions and services around town, while the data collected will enable entrepreneurs to develop their own IoT solutions based on information collected from sensors. The city teamed with LoRaWAN network solution company eleven-x this year, and has built a LoRaWAN network throughout its downtown. The firm is in the process of installing sensors that would transmit data via that network, for multiple use cases to track conditions around the city.

One of the first pilots consists of a network of sensors installed at handicapped parking spaces to detect when cars are parked above them. The city hopes that the occupancy data will allow it not only to obtain insight into how the spaces are used, but also to improve access to handicapped spaces where they are needed, based on city planning. The other target is technology-based innovation. The data is expected to enable entrepreneurs to develop solutions or applications, such as an app with which drivers can locate the closest available handicapped parking space in real time.

Adam Bell
Fredericton, with a population of 60,000, is the capital city of Canada's New Brunswick province, and is located on the Saint John River. For more than a decade, the city has strived to be a technology innovation leader, says Adam Bell, Fredericton's manager of financial reporting and accounting. In 2002, it was among the first cities in North America to offer free public Wi-Fi. It was one of the first cities with a fiber network, and in 2016 it was named by Startup Canada as the national startup community of the year. The city is taking part in Canada's Vision 2020 Economic Development Strategy to foster entrepreneurial organizations.

Fredericton has a program known as Ignite Fredericton that aims to encourage entrepreneurs by attracting and retaining talent, and then providing connectivity and collaboration. The city is home to the University of New Brunswick, which Bell calls one of Canada's most entrepreneurial universities. "Our long-term vision is to be a smart city and continue to build our ecosystem as a smart city and tech startup hub," Bell states. In that effort, he says, the city intends to create opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs. Some companies will be for-profit, while others consist of non-profit organizations. "Our vision is to be one of the smartest cities in Canada."

As part of that vision, the city decided this year to invest in the LoRaWAN network at its business center, in order to provide connectivity for future projects. Initially, it is launching several pilots. In addition to the intelligent parking-based pilot, it will also capture data from sensors for smart water metering, flood detection and air quality monitoring.

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