February 25, 2021 @ 8:42 by Richard Dawson
Newcastle City Council has appointed a North East IT company to deliver a full fibre network serving hundreds of public sector sites across the region.
The network will be delivered by Aspire Technology Solutions, in partnership with Virgin Media Business Wholesale.
It is expected to boost business productivity and deliver millions in local economic benefits while providing a platform for a new generation of smart city applications.
Newcastle was voted ‘Smart City of the Year 2020’ and it is hoped that Aspire’s full fibre network will further advance the city’s digital transformation.
Supported by Virgin Media, Aspire launched its own network in 2018 after a £2.5 million investment in local infrastructure.
It offers internet connectivity of up to 100 gigabits per second to North East businesses.
The project for Newcastle City Council will see public sector sites such as hospitals, schools and government buildings benefit from full fibre connectivity.
Councillor Joyce McCarthy, deputy leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Full fibre connectivity has never been more important as it is now.
“COVID-19 has shown how vital digital technology is to so many aspects of our lives.
“At Newcastle City Council, we are committed to maintaining economic competitiveness and achieving social inclusion for our businesses and residents, having widely available, high-speed, affordable and reliable gigabit connectivity is the enabler to helping us achieve this.”
The full fibre initiative is supported by the Government’s Local Full Fibre Network programme. Aspire have been awarded a 20-year contract to install the network by 2022 and provide ongoing support.
Chris Fraser, managing director at Aspire, said: “We are dedicated to putting technology to work to help customers innovate, become more efficient and grow quicker.
“From enabling smart technology and giving people reliable services to work from home with ease to facilitating innovation as a result of the Internet of Things, 3D Printing and artificial intelligence – Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity is the enabler to digital transformation.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Newcastle City Council up to 2040 to deliver a state-of-the-art network which will drive better outcomes for local communities and businesses.”