SSE Enterprise Telecoms – one of the UK’s leading connectivity suppliers, and part of SSE plc – today announced that it has won a competitive tender from advanced fibre broadband specialists Grain to deliver network connectivity to Countesswells, a new £800 million development in Aberdeen.
Countesswells will become home to a new community of residents, schools and businesses five miles outside of Aberdeen. The development represents a significant investment in new housing, job prospects and infrastructure to support the local economy. When completed, the new community will comprise 3,000 homes, two primary schools and an academy, community facilities, shops, offices, playparks and civic spaces all set within landscaped parkland and the existing woodland.
Connectivity takes centre stage
Connectivity is set to be key to the appeal of Countesswells, after developer Stewart Milne Group identified the need for a state-of-the-art gigabit fibre network, in light of recent property developments that have been plagued with insufficient broadband connections. Connectivity in the north-east of Scotland is also high on the UK Government agenda, with the recent news that Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire councils will each receive around £10m to test innovative ways of connecting offices and public sector buildings with the next generation of broadband.
To deliver the planned hyperfast connectivity – which will measure at up to 35 times faster than the average UK download speed – Grain needed a network partner that had a national fibre backbone that could support these high speeds, while offering uncontended connectivity. Seamless connectivity will become increasingly important as the average number of connected devices per family household rises to 50 by 2022, with more strain put on domestic broadband connections.
SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ ever-expanding network and previous experience assured Grain that it had selected the right partner to meet immediate and long-term objectives.
“SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ reputation for reliability and service delivery were important factors in our decision, but equally important was its expansive network reach,” said Rich Robinson, Managing Director, Grain. “We are thrilled to be able to offer Countesswells residents access to the country’s latest and most advanced communications technology. Together with SSE Enterprise Telecoms we are establishing a true fibre community network to Countesswells, delivering direct connections from the internet to the router in each property, ensuring absolutely no congestion is experienced at peak times.”
Mike Magee, Director of Service Solutions at SSE Enterprise Telecoms, said: “As the development progresses over the next 15 years, the fibre network will be available for all new residents as they move into their homes, ensuring they benefit from hyperfast broadband and a crystal-clear fibre connection from day one. We’re glad to be able to use our expertise and growing network to work with Grain to offer cutting-edge connectivity.”
The new Countesswells community is starting to take shape; with the major new infrastructure well underway, extensive tree planting and landscaping undertaken and 100 of the new homes already built and new residents moving in.
Allan McGregor, Project Director, Countesswells, said: “As part of our vision to make Countesswells the most connected community in Scotland, we made the decision to install the best fibre network at the outset. To achieve this, it’s important that we partnered with the best providers, and Grain and SSE Enterprise Telecoms have given us confidence and assurance from the beginning. From the day they move in, residents will have a guaranteed high-speed connection.”
In recent years, SSE Enterprise Telecoms has made significant investment in its UK-wide network. This ensures that the company is strategically placed to connect remote sites. SSE Enterprise Telecoms recently announced the third phase of its network expansion programme, Project Edge, which brings the total number of exchanges served by its national fibre network to 140, with 300,000 prime business postcodes served.