In an innovative project in South West London, the decision to install cloud-based CCTV in social housing has been a catalyst for providing high-speed fibre to all 320 properties in the estate – bringing superfast broadband to all residents and thus helping to bridge the digital divide.
Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) was keen to improve CCTV provision at its Edgar Road estate in Hounslow, which has in the past seen antisocial behaviour take place. RHP was already using the Cloudview system, which provides immediate access to high-quality CCTV footage via the cloud, in some of its other properties and realised it would be the perfect solution for Edgar Road, but the cost of broadband connectivity across the estate was prohibitive.
But in December 2017 operator Grain Connect stepped in and agreed to provide full fibre broadband across the site. This will support CCTV and other communal systems as well as high-speed broadband services to every resident who wants them.
The agreement sees Grain install a reliable, resilient and uncontended full fibre to all properties on the estate delivering the UK’s fastest true fibre broadband, ensuring that each and every resident who chooses to use the service will experience full speed connectivity, regardless of how much their neighbours use the service. There will also be spare fibres available, enabling RHP to add other services in the future. Groundwork is in progress and Grain hopes to have the service fully operational in a few weeks.
In parallel Cloudview is installing its CCTV system, which encrypts footage and sends it to secure cloud storage, from where authorised RHP staff can view it at any time. This enables RHP to review any incidents as soon as they are reported and provide immediate video evidence to the police. It also alerts RHP if there are problems with any cameras, so staff can guarantee that the system is fully operational at all times.
Tom Way, Innovation Project Manager at RHP explained:
“It’s a win-win situation for all parties – our residents get Gigabit broadband and increased security, while we have immediate access to CCTV footage for a fraction of the cost of paying for a traditional broadband service. We’ve explained how the CCTV system works to our residents, so they know that if they report a problem we’ll be able to find the footage quickly and, if appropriate, pass the information directly to the relevant authorities for action. It also saves time for our housing management staff, as they don’t have to go on site to view footage and then spent a lot of time investigating before they can hand information to the authorities. Cloudview is now part of the specification for all our new build properties.”
Rich Robinson, Managing Director at Grain, said:
”We believe this is a fantastic opportunity for both Grain and RHP. Digital inclusion is a key issue for communities like this, and fibre solves the problem while making the estate a safer place to live. Our aim is to help RHP confirm their position as one of the most advanced and forward-thinking housing associations in London and the UK, which will include rolling out fibre to all 8,000 RHP homes in the Richmond area.”
James Wickes, CEO of Cloudview explains:
“This project shows that housing associations can benefit from the latest technology if they think outside the box and build partnerships with like-minded organisations. RHP has found a way to bring increased security to its residents with the added benefit of high-speed broadband, and I’m sure that this will be the first of many such projects as other housing associations learn from their experience.”