Physically and digitally, the Bristol & Bath region is well-connected.
We are the UK’s most productive tech cluster (Tech Nation)
Fast, reliable, secure and well-connected digital infrastructure is essential for business. Our region is a leader in tech and innovation and Bristol is a leading Smart City with capabilities that are already some of the best in the UK.
Providing world class digital connectivity
Ultra fast data speeds
Ultrafast (>100Mbps): West of England 82.09% versus UK 67.30%.
Full Fibre: West of England 38.72% versus UK 24.90%.
Bristol & Bath has many innovators in cloud technology, including Oracles’ Global Cloud research and development (R&D) centre, based in Bristol.
Image credit: Tom Sparey
We're in the driving seat of 5G innovation
We’re not content to just keep up; the West of England is leading innovation that will shape the future of digital connectivity. We have already hosted the world’s first 5G Smart Tourism trial and demonstrated the UK’s first Quantum Key Distribution Network, and we’re home to the University of Bristol’s Smart Internet Lab - one of the UK's most renowned ICT research centres. The lab’s research addresses major societal and industrial challenges, with around 200 experts working to push technological boundaries.
We’re exploring 5G’s potential to transform how we live, trade and work
The creation of a 5G UK Test Network and trials has the potential to revolutionise logistics with proposed capabilities. These include geo-locating goods in transit, enhancing import operations, and 5G-enabled smart junctions.
5G UK Test Networks
This is an exciting new 5G Hub partnership linking three leading UK universities. Funded by the DCMS, this partnership led to the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme, which aims to put Britain at the centre of mobile technology by establishing a world-class 5G Test Network. Such developments are forecast to add £173 billion to our economy by 2030.
The University of Bristol's 5G UK Test Network has introduced 5G technology to Bristol city centre and explores connections between fibre infrastructure and wireless 5G access. A multi-technology testbed, based on a city-wide fibre ring and active switching nodes, has been created. The core network is based at the University, with access technologies at Bristol’s Millennium Square and MShed museum.
The Smart Internet Lab’s 5G UK Test Network extends to Bath. The link between the two cities is delivered via a 10Gbit/s BT Ethernet link.
The overall network is a fully virtualised system. It supports virtual and physical network experiments using the latest Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) technologies.
The 5G Logistics Project
This project was launched in January 2021, as part of a Department for Digital, Creative, Media and Sport (DCMS) programme. It explores how 5G can enhance logistics management and benefit air quality. Two private 5G networks will be installed at Bristol Port and Gravity, linked by a public 5G network. Its proposed capabilities include geo-locating goods in transit, enhancing import operations, and 5G-enabled smart junctions. The project contributes to the regional expertise in 5G, which can be applied to sectors including space, health, and mobility.