Glasgow to extend Gigabit City network

Agreement with CityFibre for full fibre network follows closely on Aberdeen deal

Glasgow City Council has signed up to extend its existing Gigabit City fibre network under a 19-year framework agreement with fibre optic infrastructure specialist CityFibre.

Abstract of broadband cable with data passing throughThe news comes shortly after the company struck a deal with Aberdeen City Council to connect extra sites to a similar network.

CityFibre said the Glasgow deal, which also involves telecommunications provider Commsworld, is its largest project to date, with an estimated value of £15.7 million, and claimed it was the largest UK public service metro network award in 2017.

It will involve the construction of an additional 243km of new core network infrastructure to connect 506 sites across Glasgow City Council’s estate, along with 15 BT exchange-to-exchange links. This will supplement 50km of existing core metro infrastructure in central Glasgow, built under contracts with Commsworld, HighNet and Capita.

The sites will include council offices, schools, libraries, leisure centres and arts venue, and the network will be open to CityFibre’s 1500 ISP channel partners to provide connectivity to more than 17,000 businesses in the city.

Greg Mesch, the company’s chief executive officer, said: "The city's full fibre spine will be built with the future in mind, capable of supporting 5G mobile networks and laying the groundwork for an inevitable roll out of fibre to every home and business in the city.”

He added: "This will be the largest public sector project in our history and makes us the leading digital infrastructure provider to the public sector in Scotland. We look forward to working with our partners, Commsworld and CGI (Glasgow’s new transformation partner), to usher in a full fibre future to even more Scottish cities."

Future-proofing

The Aberdeen contract, announced a few days earlier, will involve extending the Gigabit City network to 57 public sector sites, bringing the total to 166, as part of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) programme.

CityFibre said it will serve to future-proof the council’s digital capabilities, with full fibre access providing direct support for its operations and supporting the Wi-Fi network. It will also provide the foundation for smart city innovations in areas such as street lighting, traffic management systems and e-learning in schools.

Aberdeen became Scotland’s first Gigabit City in March 2015, with a network that currently spans over 80km from Dyce and Bridge of Don through the city centre and down to Altens and Tullos.

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