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SSE Connect First Sites in £10.5m Aberdeenshire Full Fibre Rollout

Monday, December 14th, 2020 (10:53 am) - Score 864
3d rendering of optical fiber cable

SSE Enterprise Telecoms (SSEET) has just connected the first 22 of 190 public sector sites (hospitals, council buildings, education sites etc.) in Aberdeenshire (Scotland) to their new gigabit-capable Dark Fibre network, which is being funded by £10.5 million from the UK Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme.

Spanning up to 275km, the new “full fibre” network contract for Aberdeenshire Council, NHS Grampian and Aberdeen City Council was awarded back in March 2020 (here). At the time the rollout was expected to take 18 months to complete and will form part of the wider Aberdeen City Region Deal (ACRD). Today’s news means that the first phase of this project (there are six phases in total) is currently “on time and on budget.”

Institutions such as the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Royal Cornhill Hospital, Woodend Hospital and Summerfield House are just some of the first 22 sites to be connected to the new gigabit-capable connectivity.

On top of all this the operator plans to “further invest” in the infrastructure in order to offer both data capacity (backhaul) and services to mobile network operators and broadband ISPs, which they say “will increase service availability and speeds for residents and businesses in Aberdeenshire.”

Martin Samuel, Public Sector Director at SSEET, said:

“This project will bring best-in-class connectivity to the region, during a time when it’s most needed and will help to futureproof the area for years to come.

As a trusted partner in rolling out and managing critical national public sector telecoms infrastructure, SSE Enterprise Telecoms was brought on board by Aberdeenshire Council in March 2020. And despite the challenges that COVID-19 has posed, working in partnership with the Aberdeenshire team, we’ve been able to successfully deliver the first phase of the project – on time and on budget. We’re also well on track to deliver 41 sites, just out from the city centre, as part of segment two by Spring 2021.

We are delighted with the supportive partnership we have jointly established with Aberdeenshire and look forward to continuing to deliver this key infrastructure for the digital enablement of the region.”

Andy Kille, Aberdeenshire Council leader, said:

“Any steps taken towards better connectivity for Aberdeenshire are hugely welcome and we all back the work taken to roll out this vital part of the City Region Deal project. The benefits of access to better digital services will have a lasting economic impact and will make a difference to businesses in Aberdeenshire. This will, in turn, benefit the people of Aberdeenshire more generally.”

SSEET’s deployment is aiming to create the least possible local disruption, which it intends to achieve by harnessing both Openreach’s (BT) existing cable ducts (Physical Infrastructure Access) and 43km of their existing Dark Fibre to reduce the amount of construction required. This will then be supplemented with 130km of new fibre that will be created to maximise the number of premises served for the budget.

Assuming all goes to plan then the deployment should be completed in time for early 2022.

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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.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Stephen says:

    This is interesting, I have noticed lots of recent/upcoming works in the Westhill area involving SSE & Openreach. Coincidently, Cityfibre are also in the process of running fibre out to Westhill. So it looks like there there is about to be an abundance of fibre products available in the area and probably many others too.

  2. Owen Rudge says:

    It’d be interesting to see how far out into Aberdeenshire this rollout goes, the sites listed all appear to be in the city so far.

    @Stephen – Interesting, I had noticed comms work going on along the A944 but didn’t realise it was Cityfibre. Now, if Cityfibre were to decide to branch out a bit further, say to Banchory, I’d be very happy indeed…

    1. Stephen says:

      Cityfibre are planning to build their network in Cults & Bieldside, hopefully the will keep heading out in that direction towards Banchory. Keep an eye on the Scottish Roadworks Comissioner website, it’s about the best way to track what roadworks are going on/upcoming in your area.

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