Nationwide SD-WAN delivers improved resilience and performance.
MLL Telecom, a leading provider of secure managed network services to the UK public sector, announced the successful completion of a nationwide Wide Area Network (WAN) transformation at The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), the fourth largest fire and rescue service in the world.
Replacing the previous IPVPN-based WAN, the new network is a key milestone in the ongoing fully managed services contract that MLL won against stiff competition in 2021. The new SD-WAN now connects over 360 fire and rescue stations located throughout Scotland, including highland and island areas, while ensuring reduced network latency for an enhanced user experience, especially at remote sites. Additionally, the future-proofed solution will support SFRS’s planned migration to public and private cloud-based services, including a revised security architecture.
MLL’s knowledge of SD-WAN technology and its in-house network engineering operations and field engineering capabilities were intrinsic to SFRS’s decision to move forward with one of the largest SD-WAN deployments in the UK. The often remote and rugged locations of many of the SFRS locations -including the Highlands and Islands – presented significant engineering and connectivity challenges. These had adversely impacted the performance of the previous WAN solution, sometimes preventing routine tasks being undertaken by SFRS personnel, as well as more critical ones such as accessing cloud-based training applications.
A major factor in the project’s success has been the close working relationship between MLL and SFRS. This ensured the migration was seamless to end-users and the network service continued uninterrupted in-spite of a change in suppliers.
“MLL has provided SFRS with a reliable, cost-effective, flexible, and future-proof WAN solution, supporting our ongoing digital transformation and vision,” said Sandra Fox, Head of ICT, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. “Their SD-WAN and engineering services ensure we can continue to depend on resilient high-quality voice and data services while also paving the way for a smooth transition to a cloud-based architecture over the coming years.”
Commented Matthew Twigg, MLL Operations Director: “Despite the challenges presented by the often harsh and remote environments involved, MLL has successfully delivered a world-class WAN solution to SFRS. This is a testimony to not only MLL’s technical know-how and agile leading-edge technology, but our knowledge of the Scottish landscape and the calibre of our in-house project management, network operations and field engineering teams.”
Added Shaun Ledgerwood, CEO, MLL: “I am proud of our team’s achievements and how they engaged across the partnership on this flagship project for MLL. From the inspiration of our solution designers, the thoroughness and attention to detail from our project office and the resilience, skill and perseverance of our engineering teams, all have excelled in delivering a successful outcome for SFRS and the citizens of Scotland. We continue to improve and broaden the service through the introduction of new and trial technologies, such as Satellite. We look forward to a long and productive partnership ensuring SFRS gets the best possible return from their investment.”
The Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) is the world’s fourth largest fire and rescue service, committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the people of Scotland. As a national organisation with firefighters among the best equipped and most highly trained in the world, SFRS front-line services are delivered locally from three strategically positioned hubs based in the North, West and East of the country. In addition to fire control and prevention, SFRS responds to many different emergency incidents including road traffic collisions, rope rescue, water rescue, hazardous materials and flooding as well as assisting partner agencies in keeping communities safe.