Scotland continues to struggle with relatively poor levels of broadband connectivity, especially in rural areas. The widespread lack of fibre is partly to blame – only 3% of Scotland is currently connected to full-fibre – the only viable network foundation in delivering Gigabit connectivity effectively.
Full-fibre is needed for increased speed, more reliability, and better performance – and can deliver gigabit broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps, well above the 30Mbps minimum definition of superfast broadband. These significant enhancements in broadband performance have certainly turned the heads of Scottish councils and has prompted many to lead their own network procurement processes. Some local authorities are leading on the creation and enablement of transformational connectivity that will deliver tangible political, economic, social and technological benefits to all residents.
Our close regional expertise and in-depth understanding of urban and rural network rollout challenges has seen us appointed by Local Authorities such as South Ayrshire, Perth & Kinross, and Fife to lead network upgrades. While our presence in Scotland is relatively new, MLL Telecom has over 25 years’ experience as a leading provider of secure managed network services to the UK public sector.
Superfast Stirling & State of the Art’ South Ayrshire
Stirling led its own recent rethink of its Wide Area Network (WAN) procurement process in January 2017, which led to the city being announced as Scotland’s fourth Gigabit City. By working in partnership with us and CityFibre, Stirling Council deployed a state-of-the-art new full-fibre infrastructure which was installed last year and will be lit in September 2019. The full-fibre network connects most of Stirling’s public sector estate including schools, libraries and community venues.
South Ayrshire Council appointed us to migrate the organisation to a new WAN solution. It wanted to completely revolutionise its communications infrastructure to better support council services – from basic telephony and email, through to core business systems.
The WAN migration started early this year and will completely replace South Ayrshire’s legacy wireless network infrastructure to deliver a fully managed network service. The new network infrastructure will have a transformative impact for South Ayrshire – particularly its schools, which will now benefit from enhanced bandwidth and better reliability. An additional key benefit of the new WAN will be the ability to deliver additional and cost-effective connectivity for infrastructure services such as traffic lights, CCTV and public Wi-Fi over the new core network.
We have also recently been appointed by Fife Council to transition and transform its existing WAN infrastructure. Its new WAN solution will underpin Fife council’s future growth and bring significant benefits for its wider community.
Work will begin later this year to provide an enhanced 10Gb capacity core network, resulting in increased bandwidth to council end sites while achieving anticipated cost savings of 25% over the duration of the contract.
Secondary schools across Fife will benefit greatly from the new WAN, enjoying 1Gbps internet speeds, meeting demand for cloud and educational internet services to be delivered to the classroom.
We have also as part of our community benefits approach committed to involvement in in local community projects in Fife. We have pledged our support to delivering these community benefits, including supporting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) initiatives across primary and secondary education, for pupil’s foundation apprenticeships and working closely with designated local charities.
Widening our Scottish net
In addition to the partnerships mentioned above, MLL Telecom was appointed by Perth & Kinross Council (PKC) to deliver an upgraded Wide Area Network (WAN) for the region’s 100+ schools and public services. Beginning in September 2018, MLL Telecom has been developing the existing network infrastructure to increase bandwidth and connectivity, replacing point-to-point connections from multiple providers with a single central managed solution. The network upgrade has not only underpinned PKC’s digital strategy, it has also provided a platform for growth by facilitating the uptake of new technologies and increased data consumption.
Our success in Scotland is not purely a reflection of the significant technological gains we are delivering to local councils, but also the emotional investment we are making. I have lived through inadequate connectivity and share the same frustrations as the councils and citizens we serve. This is perhaps the most significant reason why working with smaller, more agile and nimble technology providers, like MLL Telecom, is delivering genuine change for Scottish councils – and at a price point that is genuinely realistic.
Craig Scott, Regional Director