Earlier this month, Dorset Council’s ‘Festival of the Future’ returned for the third consecutive year featuring ground-breaking digital innovation in farming, education, tourism, health and the climate.
In addition to sharing information on what a “digital town” might look like in the future, the festival highlighted exciting digital innovations taking place throughout the county, including the award-winning 5G Rural Dorset project where Excelerate provided the UK’s first Satellite backhaul from a 5G Standalone network.
The Excelerate team travelled to the beautiful seaside town of Weymouth in support of the event to show how resilient and reliable connectivity can support a variety of use cases, such as keeping residents and visitors safe in the water and keeping businesses along the seafront connected.
#FutureFest22 held a series of events in Bridport, Dorchester, Weymouth, Ferndown and Winfrith from Monday, October 10 until Friday, October 14. Visitors could also attend virtually and watch the live stream on YouTube
Our demonstration was led by Excelerate’s Callum Farrell, Sales Manager, who brought the latest LEO satellite antenna and our Excell 4G LTE optimisation antenna. When these were merged, a robust hybrid communications network was created, ensuring that even during the busiest times of the year, business owners along the front could maintain a secure connection for their PDQ devices, preventing any network disruptions that would result in missed revenue. With a population of 53,000 and 500,000 tourists a year, it’s crucial that businesses can remain active and receive payments, particularly in peak season.
Our team also demonstrated individual GPS trackers, which allow any organisation to know where employees are at any time. The trackers also enable employees to request assistance by pushing the front-mounted blue button. Using this technology whilst being connected to our network, we were able to demonstrate how the harbour office can see where their kayaks are headed as well as giving users of the kayak the ability to signal for help if they need it. If the kayaker encounters difficulty, they can activate a panic alarm on their personal tracker, which sends GPS coordinates to the harbour office and, if necessary, can contact emergency services. This helps them to reach the precise location immediately without incurring additional delays or risks associated with looking for the casualty.
This technology also allows the harbour office to monitor lone workers who might be shutting off utilities by themselves late at night.
One our second day in Weymouth, our team supported SkyBound Rescuer by allowing them to utilise our resilient network for their drone demonstration. SkyBound Rescuer specialise in the use of drones for public safety and have developed software that will automate and optimise drone mission plans for public safety, for use cases like finding missing people in water.
Once connected to our network, the drone deployed and commenced its such and rescue mission demonstration. The drone relayed live HD footage back to the beachfront as it scanned the sea for the kayaks. The demonstration showed that as soon as a casualty is visually identified, the recovery team can be notified and dispatched to the exact point using the What3words positioning system or GPS coordinates.
Weymouth is a great destination to visit with a rich history, a thriving nightlife, and arguably one of the best beaches in the country, therefore it’s crucial that the local council keep things running smoothly. We worked with the award-winning 5G Rural Dorset project to share how the latest space technology can provide ‘always-on’ connectivity and demonstrated how the same network can support a whole range of other use cases to help provide better, more costs effective services and to make Dorset a brilliant place to live, work and visit.
Colin Wood – Programme Manager – Dorset Council
Resilient and reliable connectivity is essential for achieving economic growth and enhancing public safety for both residents and visitors of Dorset. We are extremely proud of what has been accomplished as part of the 5G Rural Dorset project and we were thrilled to return and demonstrate our technologies as part of Festival of the Future. We would like to thank Dorset Council and all the partners involved for making this event as rewarding as it was enjoyable.
Sales Manager, Callum Farrell at Excelerate Technology Ltd.