case study 1
Regional Network Solutions were employed by Southend Borough Council to establish a strategy for upgrading its digital infrastructure and identifying opportunities for its borough wide smart city aspirations.
Initially this included a review of the Council’s current infrastructure across multiple departments. This enabled the Council to map existing assets and highlight areas of duplication. At the same time a soft market testing exercise was carried out to explore options, solutions and business case models. An open information day was held to set out the Councils ambitions and share opportunities with the market. This was followed with individual meetings with key providers.
Once completed RNS helped the Local Authority establish a route to market for the provision of a dark fibre network which would connect over one hundred sites across the borough. This would enable gigabit capable fibre to the premise services to every public sector site including corporate, library, housing and school buildings. A formal requirement specification was written with the procurement team and support provided throughout the exercise.
RNS ensured the procurement exercise delivered the following objectives:-
- Generate active digital inclusion through the widespread availability of state of the art fibre infrastructure
- Embrace ICT as the strategic enabler across all services
- Quality of service is guaranteed
- Value for money ensuring suitable benchmarking provisions are built into the long term contract
- Ensure the network is constructed on time and to budget
- Generates substantial value for the whole borough by facilitating ultrafast services to businesses and residential
- Support the concept of a smart city aspiration
Following a successful procurement process the contract was awarded to Cityfibre Infrastructure. As the UK’s largest alternate provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure and the most significant builder of Gigabit Cities, Cityfibre were well placed to meet the Council’s borough wide aspirations. RNS were asked to continue their engagement and oversee the project delivery phase in conjunction with other infrastructure initiatives to ensure all work was aligned to the Councils digital vision.
The implementation phase included a twelve month construction programme to build over ninety kilometres of new fibre ducts across the borough including an early adopter of the Government’s physical infrastructure access (PIA) scheme. Alongside this RNS co-ordinated the in-house Southend team to design the network services layer and plan the migration over to the new network. Sites went live in a phased approach once the new fibre infrastructure became available. Finally, a co-ordinated decommission programme (including old copper circuits) was agreed with the previous managed service provider.
RNS continued to help the Council to exploit the new digital infrastructure by developing the next phase of the rollout programme. This included the addition of traffic junctions (UTC) and CCTV camera locations to the network which replaced legacy analogue networks. In addition, Cityfibre launched it’s full fibre network and gigabit services to local business including key business parks. This provided cost effective ultrafast services to boost the local economy.
The final phase of the initiative saw Cityfibre announcing a further investment in the town by expanding their FTTP network to every home and business in partnership with Vodafone. The project will see a private investment from Cityfibre of £35 million into a state of the art digital infrastructure, bringing ultrafast internet connectivity within reach of every building in the borough.
Cityfibre Promotional Material:-
Gigabit revolution in Southend-on-Sea
As a forward-looking town, Southend has exciting plans to use technology to create opportunities for energy saving, carbon reduction, citizen focus, business innovation and sustainable growth. If the town is to meet these goals, it is vital that a solid digital infrastructure is available to all.
With full fibre beneath its streets, Southend’s entire digital landscape will be transformed – making the town more innovative, more productive and giving a digital boost to the local economy for decades to come.
The applications and benefits of gigabit-speed internet connectivity are almost endless. Full fibre broadband will not only revolutionise the online world at home by unlocking new forms of entertainment and making flexible home working a reality, it will also provide a step change in internet speed and quality for the whole community.
With a gigabit infrastructure at its heart, Southend will be ideally positioned to attract and foster new businesses as well as retain and grow those already based in the borough.
Thousands of enterprises of all sizes will be provided with a digital advantage equivalent to that enjoyed by companies based in the world’s most technologically advanced towns and cities.
Enhanced digital connectivity also enables those in education, health and social care sectors to adopt the latest technologies, introducing innovative e-learning techniques and remote lessons in schools, colleges and universities, and providing the perfect foundation for crucial health and social care solutions such as telemedicine, remote monitoring of the elderly and convenient online GP consultations.
Full fibre also brings about the potential for vastly improved mobile network services and experimentation with smart city initiatives such as big data projects, high definition CCTV and smart traffic controls.
Ultimately as every aspect of our lives becomes increasingly dependent on bandwidth, Southend will be primed to thrive – making it one of the UK’s most attractive areas to live and work.
Vodafone will be providing game changing Gigafast broadband services to residents in their homes, revolutionising user experience with seamless multi device streaming, buffer free video calling and real time gaming, as well as supporting the adoption of flexible working practices and IoT technologies.
With more businesses moving their services and data to the cloud, full fibre connectivity is becoming essential. By connecting to Southend’s gigabit network, local businesses will experience increased productivity and cost savings with instant access to data, smooth running cloud applications and reliable hosting and backup.
With a full fibre infrastructure at its core, Southend can lead as an educational centre of excellence, using online technologies to deliver engaging content to students and enhance research facilities. Fast, reliable and cost effective, full fibre also allows schools, colleges and universities to improve back office efficiency and transform the way they operate.
E-Health, M-Health, telemedicine and wellness projects can be quickly introduced, enabling a range of new technologies to better diagnose, treat, monitor and support patients, as well as help improve the overall health of the entire population.
Connecting mobile sites to full fibre removes capacity issues, providing seamless 4G connectivity for those on the move throughout the borough. Southend will be ready to respond and adapt, ensuring its citizens are among the first to benefit from mobile innovations such as 5G.
In a Gigabit City, councils can connect their entire estate to full fibre, from offices and schools, to hospitals and community hubs. This enables them to introduce efficiencies and reduce costs, transforming the access and provision of public services and helping to eliminate the digital divide.
Smart City Initiatives:-
Full fibre provides the perfect foundation to implement smart city solutions from citywide WiFi to traffic control and high definition CCTV.
Source:- Regeneris Report – Economic impact of full fibre infrastructure in 100 towns and cities 2018
Figures indicate estimated economic impact of full fibre deployment in Southend over a 15 year period.
- £35m – Initial private investment
- £19m – Direct network build benefits
- £93m – Private household benefits
- £10m – Healthcare
- £12m – Innovation in business
- £12m – Business productivity
- £14m – Worker flexibility
- £15m – Business start ups
- £31m- Smart city infrastructure
- £62m – Industry 4.0 / IoT
£171m – 5G innovation