MLL Telecom, a leading provider of secure managed network services to the UK public sector, today announced it has won a substantial Full Fibre network extension project from the Association of South Essex Local Authorities (ASELA). This follows the award of a major dark fibre construction contract to MLL in the summer of last year and which has now completed, on time and on budget.
Phase Two of the network build commenced July 2021 and will expand the initial 130 km of fibre infrastructure to over 200 km with a further 100 connections added to the 129 already delivered. MLL Telecom is delivering the high-capacity fibre network in conjunction with Nextgenaccess, a specialist UK fibre infrastructure provider.
The entire network infrastructure is being procured on behalf of ASELA under the Suffolk Cloud Partnership Agreement signed in 2018 between MLL Telecom and Suffolk County Council – the anchor tenant. This is enabling Full Fibre connection to multiple sites located across Basildon, Brentwood, Castle Point, Rochford and Thurrock – and covering council buildings, schools, care homes, GP surgeries and fire stations.
The full fibre investment and successful delivery are a key input to ASELA’s ambitious programme to extend Gigabit broadband coverage and deliver the next generation of digital services across South Essex, as well as support a wider strategic aspiration to create opportunities for local growth and digital innovation.
As part of the ongoing fibre network project MLL Telecom is working closely with the South Essex Authorities to ensure the network investment delivers ultrafast broadband connections and a range of services. These will include Wide Area Network (WAN), voice and data, and high-speed access to the Internet and Cloud.
Shaun Ledgerwood, CEO, MLL Telecom, added: “We are delighted to have been awarded a further contract by ASELA under our Suffolk Cloud Partnership Agreement. The high-capacity fibre infrastructure engineered by Nextgenaccess together with our portfolio of managed services will ensure ASELA and its local communities have future-proofed access to the full benefits of the digital age.”
Nextgenaccess is licensed under Duct and Pole Access (DPA) / Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) to utilise existing Openreach infrastructure which enables lower fibre network construction costs, faster deployment, and minimal disruption compared to conventional road digs. “PIA is ideally suited to the ASELA project due to the considerable distances and varied metropolitan and rural landscapes involved,” said Mark Weller, Managing Director, Nextgenaccess. “Our approach also allows the network to pass in close proximity to several local BT Exchanges, therefore facilitating ultrafast connection to all sites.”
Cllr Chris Hossack, Chair of ASELA, said: “South Essex is a key strategic region within the UK with ambitious growth plans and a proactive attitude to delivering sustainable prosperity for its communities. There can be no doubt that digital connectivity is a key enabler to deliver on our South Essex growth plans. The fantastic success of this project is a considerable feather in our cap, we have delivered on time, in budget and fully to scope. The successful rollout of this network and funding to increase it further shows just what ASELA is achieving in driving the ambitions of South Essex to deliver growth for the region, contribute billions to the national economy and improve the lives and prospects of the region’s residents.”
ASELA’s Full Fibre initiative follows a Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) grant by the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) last year to Thurrock Council for its ‘Thurrock 2050: A Smart Place’ programme. This included the LFFN requirement to transform and future-proof ASELA’s network infrastructure, enabling the delivery of next generation digital services including 5G. This is in line with ASELA’s commitment to increasing its overall productivity and the quality of digital services available to local communities.