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Oxfordshire upgrades connectivity to public sector sites


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Fibre strands and ethernet cable
Image source: Chetroni

Oxfordshire County Council is installing a gigabit fibre broadband infrastructure in over 90 public sector sites under a 20-year deal with Neos Networks.

It said the project, which began at the end of 2021, is on track for completion by the end of this year, with four of its eight delivery milestones having been passed so far.

The effort involves Neos Networks acting as aggregator for a number of connectivity suppliers – including Openreach, Virgin Media Business and the regional operator AltNet Gigaclear – and building and managing the new infrastructure.

This is part of the Department of Community, Media and Sports’ GigaHubs project to upgrade connectivity across Oxfordshire, with the aim of providing over 1,500 km of fibre. This has provided £2 million in funding along with £5 million from the county council.

Sites including community centres, village halls, schools, libraries, GP surgeries, leisure centres, fire stations and museums have already been connected, some providing locations for community hubs. This involves sites providing a wide range of services under health, social care and third sector provision.

Springboard for improvement

Cllr Glynis Phillips, Oxfordshire’s cabinet member for corporate services, said: “We’re delighted with the progress that the project has made over the last 12 months. Transforming broadband infrastructure across the county is providing a springboard to improve the services we provide to our community and will be key in maintaining our position as one of the UK’s best connected counties.

“We are proud to be delivering on our commitment to our digital infrastructure strategy by bringing more opportunities and quality of life improvements to the doorsteps of our citizens.”

Sarah Mills, chief revenue officer at Neos Networks, said: “As the project progresses and we move closer to completion, it will also provide a boost to the local economy as connectivity attracts new investment and businesses to the area.”

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