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Renfrewshire Council spends £15 million as part of full fibre upgrade


Mark Say Managing Editor

Renfrewshire Council has signed Commsworld on a £15 million contract to upgrade its digital connectivity and services.

The deal with the provider of networking and connectivity solutions is set to run for 17 years and will run alongside another deal with digital infrastructure provider CityFibre. It  will involve the provision of full fibre connections to approximately 180 council buildings, along with CCTV and traffic control systems.

CityFibre will design, build, operate and own more than 80% of the new network, with Commsworld delivering connectivity to the remaining sites and providing all services.

The company emphasised that the move should give the area’s schools better internet access and that it will help the council to transform frontline services.

Core network

Construction in Renfrewshire is set to begin this summer, creating a core network of approximately 130km. CityFibre will connect public sector sites in Johnstone, Linwood, Paisley and Renfrew, whilst Commsworld will build full fibre connectivity directly to sites in Bishopton, Bridge of Weir, Erskine, Houston and Inchinnan.

John Shaw

Councillor John Shaw (pictured), convener of Renfrewshire’s finance, resources and customer services policy board, said: “This will greatly improve connectivity to our schools, tackle digital exclusion and ensure access to full fibre connectivity at around 180 council buildings, including local libraries, town halls, community centres and care homes.

“I am particularly pleased that the contractors will deliver a wide range of community benefits providing support for local projects and skills and training opportunities for young people. The coronavirus outbreak has further underlined the critical importance of connectivity, which will be vital in Renfrewshire’s economic recovery and help to create a resilient network, benefiting all our communities.”

Bruce Strang, Commsworld’s chief operating officer, said: “We look forward to working with Renfrewshire Council to transform its wide area network and delivering a step change in the bandwidth available to the region’s schools.

“We have demonstrated a track record of success in delivering massively enhanced infrastructure to Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders and Glasgow, and look forward to delivering the same for Renfrewshire Council.”

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