A PILOT ‘Smart Place’ programme including 5G trials could be brought in at the Lansdowne next year.

The £1.3 million project could see networks installed along St Paul’s Road and parts of Christchurch Road to look at “potential significant benefits” of the mobile technology

BCP Council’s cabinet will be asked to support the pilot when it meets on Friday.

“It is predicted that there is significant social, environmental, economic and financial value in a ‘Smart Place’ approach to delivering services,” a report published ahead of the meeting says

“This provides an opportunity to conduct initial proof of concept Smart Place use trials and to develop new Smart Place applications and services.”

Smart Place schemes involve the provision of extensive IT networks supporting high tech systems and organisations.

Two separate 5G networks are proposed, one along Christchurch Road between the Lansdowne and St Swithun’s roundabouts and the other on St Paul’s Road.

The first site was chosen due to the number of established and start-up digital businesses based nearby.

And the second because of its proximity to the Bournemouth University medical science facility.

Both are expected to be operational from August 2020 and would be in place for about two years while its effects are assessed.

The report says there is potential for trials to be extended to cover major events across the conurbation, including Bournemouth Air Festival and the Christmas Tree Wonderland.

Most of the £1.33 million cost will be covered by a £1 million grant allocated by Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership earlier this year.

The remainder will be covered by a mix of private investment and the use of council staff.

Earlier this year the council held a call for evidence on 5G technology after campaigners raised concerns about its potential negative health effects.

In response, the report says the council would “continuously monitor” radiation levels to ensure they were within guidance set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

Should the cabinet approve the scheme when it meets next week, the first work is expected to start in January with everything being in place by September.