I am a freelance with a technical background based in Manchester, UK. Here you can find information on projects I am involved in, along with articles I have written.
Here are some of the projects I am currently working on (2022)
Cooperative Network Infrastructure
CNI, the neutral host cooperative we set up to share digital infrastructure assets has continued to grow.
The spine network now covers Tameside, parts of Manchester, Blackpool and, most recently, Burgess Hill in Sussex. We're currently building in Brighton
CNI has continued to grow, with over 40 organisations now in membership, the most recent being Brighton and Hove City Council. In 2021 we welcomed CityFibre as a new supplier member along with other telecoms operators and ISPs
CNI members now have access to over 200km of 'spine' fibre to help them reach customers.
Blackpool: Ethically Powered Data
Blackpool Council and Lancaster University have been leading a project to create a cluster of CNZ (carbon net zero) data centres. The aim is to take advantage of assets available in Blackpool and the north west: a new, low-latency transatlantic fibre to the US (10ms closer than the Slough data centre cluster), unrivalled off-shore wind capacity, now and in the pipeline, and a strong political will in the council to overcome some of the difficult technical and commercial challenges involved, for example, in re-using heat from data centres.
It's an 'Innovation Catalyst' project (UK Government funded). The key outcome so far is the creation of a group of collaborators including local and national businesses alongside investors, and the possibility of using a cooperative neutral host (thin layer) approach to local energy market mediation.
You can find out more here
Graham Mitchell and I wrote a paper for Midcounties Cooperative back in 2008 that proposed the creation of a new type of cooperative designed to provide an alternative framework for start-up and early stage (mostly digital) businesses, avoiding the 'Silicon Valley' investor-driven model in favour of a collaborative model.
Now, some 14 years later and following the inclusion of a similar idea in the report of the GM Cooperative Commission (recommendation 38), we've been working to make it a reality. Fellow commissioner Cliff Mills working with Anthony Collins Solicitors has enhanced the original concept with the innovative notion of cooperative governance as a low-friction, flexible alternative to contract law - in creating consortia for example.
We're just getting started now - you can read more here.