The £9m ‘Next Generation Networks’ project has been set up by the UK and Indian governments to explore how existing technology infrastructures, such as copper cable networks, could be integrated into a new optical infrastructure to provide long-term benefits.
In addition to improving the current infrastructure, the project will examine how technologies such as wireless sensor networks could be used to deliver real-time data on topics including earthquakes and pollution.
The five-year project will be led by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) alongside telecoms company BT, with £2.5m made available by Research Councils UK (RCUK) to establish a virtual research centre.
RCUK’s funding will be matched by the Indian government’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) and a further £4m will be provided by a consortium of academic and industrial partners.
John Hand, head of digital economy at the EPSRC, said: ‘Next generation networks will be the new building blocks of the future digital economy.
‘This also offers a great opportunity for