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Perth and Kinross Council Award £2m Local Full Fibre Contract

Thursday, December 10th, 2020 (11:03 am) - Score 2,016
3d rendering of optical fiber background

The Perth & Kinross Council in Scotland has awarded SSE Enterprise Telecoms (SSEET) the £2m contract to deploy a new 19km long gigabit-capable “full fibre” network in the area, which will help to “boost economic activity” and connect 31 locations (public sector sites) across the city region.

The new Dark Fibre network contract, which is the first to be secured by SSEET via the Government’s RM6095 agreement (this aims to better provide UK public sector bodies with fibre optic infrastructure), is being supported by £1m from the UK Government’s Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme and £1m from the Tay Cities Deal.

SSEET 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 SSEET and the council to reach more locations than would have been possible versus a traditional network build project.

Apparently, some of the sites to benefit from this will include public buildings near to the new 3,000-site West Perth housing development.

Martin Samuel, Public Sector Director at SSEET, 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 said:

“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.”

Aside from connecting public sector sites, the new network could also provide a useful foundation for future commercial investment by broadband ISPs (e.g. Broadway Partners, Openreach, Cityfibre etc.), which may be seeking to extend their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks. Assuming all goes to plan then the new network should be fully completed come the second half of 2021.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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6 Responses
  1. Avatar James™ says:

    Nice to see some Scottish area news, not quite my area.

  2. Avatar JitteryPinger says:

    Good news to hear, is it aimed at businesses or consumers.

    I know this area has good coverage of FTTC from Openreach but a lot of lines are way too long to make decent use of them.

  3. Avatar Liam says:

    And yet I pay £44 per month to receive 1Mbps download speed, and I live in Perth & Kinross. Rather than providing the centres with even better Internet possibilities than they have already. Why not provide rural places, like where I am situated with Internet that isn’t as slow as dial-up back in 2000.

    1. Avatar A_Builder says:

      In all fairness SSE have a good track record of providing hand off points to Alt Nets.

      So anything that makes Alt Net activity cheaper/easier will spur on more FTTP builds.

      So there is a positive in there!

  4. Avatar David Gilbert’s says:

    Totally agree with Liam, the rural community are desperate for better broadband speeds.
    I could write a pretty tedious book on our challenges to date to improve our speed!
    So much for the R100 programme!

  5. Avatar Caroline Lennox says:

    When will someone take the initiative and bring the long promised fttp to us in the rural areas who get 2,5mbps on a good day and there are other not many of them. Broken promises time and again, we work from home here like everyone else.

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