Commsworld, the leading UK-wide provider of networking and connectivity solutions, has been awarded a contract which could see £150m spent over 15 years to transform North Lanarkshire’s digital infrastructure and connectivity.
The 15 year agreement for Digital Connectivity Services with the council will ensure improved access to high-quality, reliable fibre connections, which will make a real difference to investment opportunities for businesses in the area, whilst tackling the issue of digital exclusion amongst it’s residents. Digital connectivity is crucial to ensure Scotland’s towns and town centres are fit for the future, and to ensure long-term sustainability.
So how will it work? The tech-y bit!
It will achieve this by futureproofing North Lanarkshire’s digital backbone, enhancing the coverage and reach of gigabit-capable networks to businesses, private and council-owned social housing and residential households that are not currently served by existing networks. This will bring enormous benefits including increased access to employment opportunities, improve health and social wellbeing and economic growth.
The agreement will see the creation of a free public WiFi network connecting all town centres, council and public buildings, sport and leisure facilities, culture venues, libraries, country parks, sheltered housing, schools and homelessness accommodation, enabling people who don’t have digital connectivity to have fast internet access, helping to reduce the digital gap across North Lanarkshire.
In a phased programme of work, the council’s 155 schools will also enjoy a significant uplift in internet connectivity with a minimum 1GB connection for primary schools – 20 times the current capacity – and secondary schools increasing to a resilient 5GB, boosting digital learning through faster upload speeds.
Finally, as well as bringing an additional digital fibre provider to the area to increase competition, plans could be developed to offer vastly reduced rates for gigabit-capable fibre broadband to council tenants, residents and businesses.
If you would like to find out more about Commsworld, who are Scotland’s Towns Partnership digital partners for 2023, you can find out more on their website.