Press Release

MLL Telecom, a leading provider of secure managed network services to the UK public sector, today announced it has won the Wide Area Network (WAN) contract from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), the fourth largest fire and rescue service in the world.

MLL’s service agreement is for four years with SFRS having the option to extend. This followed a highly competitive tender which included several FTSE listed telecommunications providers. SFRS required a single supplier to provide a fully managed WAN solution to replace its legacy IPVPN WAN from Virgin Media.

The transformational programme is due for completion in Dec 2021 and the new SD-WAN will encompass over 360 fire stations located throughout Scotland. The larger fire stations and SFRS offices will benefit from full fibre connectivity while those in more challenging rural locations will have a hybrid approach using a mixture of superfast, 4G and DSL technologies.

SFRS had stipulated that user experience was a priority, especially at some of the more remote locations where providing service is more challenging. This created additional problems in performing normally routine tasks and when accessing cloud applications for the completion of essential online training exercises. A further major requirement for the WAN is to reduce latency for cloud traffic to support SFRS’ digital vision.

In response to these requirements and challenges MLL proposed a managed SD-WAN solution, based on Fortinet technology, to enable connectivity to all SFRS sites regardless of location. This will be one of the largest SD-WAN deployments in the UK. In addition, MLL is providing a next generation security overlay which supports the planned move to the cloud while ensuring existing high levels of security and control are maintained.

"MLL is proven as a reliable network services partner capable of providing cost-effective, flexible and future-proof WAN solutions to the public sector, said Sandra Fox, Head of ICT, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. “MLL’s SD-WAN and engineering services will ensure SFRS can continue to depend on resilient high quality voice and data services as well as have a flexible and future-proof solution that will underpin essential ICT services in line with our ongoing digital transformation.”

Added James Keirnan, MLL Telecom’s Regional Director for Scotland: “With our knowledge of the Scottish landscape, agile leading-edge technology, in-house network operations and field engineering capabilities, we are confident of meeting the demanding timescales of this challenging project. Winning SFRS cements MLL Telecom’s position as a provider of critical infrastructure to the Scottish public sector.”

Stuart Wallis, MLL Telecoms Chief Commercial Officer, commented: “I’m delighted that MLL Telecom continues to enable its customers to transform their digital landscapes, bringing together over 30 years of engineering knowhow with the very latest technologies. This will provide SFRS with a network that will not only transform all of Scotland’s some 360 fire and rescue stations over the next 12 months, but also provide the ability to transition to a cloud-based architecture over the coming years.”

SFRS is the world’s fourth largest fire and rescue service, committed to ensuring the safety and well- being of the people of Scotland. As a national organisation with firefighters among the best equipped and most highly trained in the world, SFRS front-line services are delivered locally from three strategically positioned hubs based in the North, West and East of the country. In addition to fire control and prevention, SFRS responds to many different emergency incidents including road traffic collisions, rope rescue, water rescue, hazardous materials and flooding as well as assisting partner agencies in keeping communities safe.