SSE Enterprise Telecoms, one of the UK’s leading connectivity providers, today announces that it has been awarded a major gigabit-capable connectivity project by Perth & Kinross Council, spanning 19km, to boost economic activity in the area. As the hometown of SSE plc, and the location of an SSE Enterprise Telecoms office and dark Network Operations Centre, the project is of particular importance to the national telecoms infrastructure provider. The award also represents the first gigabit-capable infrastructure project for SSE Enterprise Telecoms through the Government’s RM6095 agreement, which aims to provide UK public sector bodies with fibre optic infrastructure.
High speed, high capacity connectivity will benefit the entire local community, including educational institutions, council buildings, leisure centres, care homes and residential homes, as well as public buildings near to the new 3,000-site West Perth housing development. This end-to-end full fibre network will be brought to 31 locations across the city region, to support the modern-day connectivity demands of increasingly integrated community assets, with the connectivity capabilities needed to facilitate next generation technologies such as 5G and Internet of Things (IoT), as well as Perth & Kinross Council’s future smart city plans.
Funding of £1m has been made available for Perth & Kinross Council via the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport as part of the Local Full Fibre Networks Fund, which is committed to enhancing digital capabilities in the public sector. Nearly £1m of UK Government funding for digital connectivity from the Tay Cities Deal is also being used to assist with the project.
SSE Enterprise Telecoms will build on its established regional network infrastructure using 5.4km of Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) ducts as well as 3.9km of existing Perth & Kinross Council assets. The economical use of existing and new fibre pathways will enable SSE Enterprise Telecoms and Perth & Kinross Council to reach more locations than would have been possible versus a traditional network build project. This will allow for quicker delivery and accelerated realisation of economic and social benefits in the area. High speed, low latency connectivity to data centres will also help to enable cloud connectivity for businesses and Fibre-To-The-Home services for residents towards the end of 2021.
Martin Samuel, Public Sector Director at SSE Enterprise Telecoms, said:
“Providing the Perth community with the digital infrastructure it needs to thrive is a cause that we feel strongly about, with SSE plc being a major employer in the area and SSE Enterprise Telecoms having an office and a dark Network Operations Centre located in Perth. As such, it’s poignant that Perth & Kinross should be the first region we deliver gigabit-capable connectivity to via the RM6095 agreement.
Once the network is fully operational in the second half of 2021, the deal will see us serve the local community for the next 20 years, helping to future-proof the region against the ever-growing demands of the digital economy. Our collaboration with the local authority will help to enable Perth’s smart city ambitions, with a very well-connected public sector and digitally empowered businesses that drive prosperity in the region and remove any connectivity related barriers to success.”
Councillor Angus Forbes, Convener of Perth & Kinross Council’s Environment & Infrastructure Committee, added:
“Our vision is for Perth to becomes Europe’s most sustainable small city, outlined in the Perth City Plan. The population of our city is growing, and we are actively promoting city-wide smart design through the provision of digital platforms and infrastructure to make the city smarter and to cope with rising demands for more capacity.
The gigabit-capable connectivity provided by SSE Enterprise Telecoms is a key part of future-proofing not only our city but also the wider Perth and Kinross rural area. SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ technical expertise in enabling smarter cities, combined with its ability to undertake this project as economically as possible with minimal disruption, means that we’ll be getting great value for our investment alongside our ongoing collaboration over the next 20 years.”