The firm, Scotland’s largest independent telecommunications and digital services provider, will be working directly with CGI as its preferred network provider to deliver a 400 site Wide Area Network (WAN) for the Council delivering faster and more reliable connectivity for schools, libraries and other council buildings.
Commsworld will also rollout an IP Telephony solution for 7000 users and a 250 seat Contact Centre. These key aspects of the ICT contract will deliver significant benefits to the end users, while also creating a number of new jobs in the Scottish IT market.
The WAN will utilise Edinburgh CORE – the “pure fibre” network Commsworld launched in May with infrastructure provider, CityFibre.
Ricky Nicol, Chief Executive of the Edinburgh based firm, believes the reach and benefits of this network will have a significant impact for the capital as a whole with council buildings achieving far faster internet speeds resulting in increased efficiency and access to a wider range of digital resources.
He said: “We’re delighted to be preferred network provider working with CGI to deliver the 400 site WAN for the City of Edinburgh Council.
“This is of course fantastic for Commsworld from a commercial perspective, but more importantly it will have a hugely positive impact on Edinburgh with some schools able to boast up to 100 times greater bandwidth than before – this basically means far faster internet and far greater capacity for all pupils and staff.
“This would not be possible without CityFibre’s investment in the fibre infrastructure that will allow Edinburgh to become one of the best connected cities in the world.
Since we launched the Edinburgh CORE network together in May we have seen huge demand from businesses across all sectors and it is now set to be the biggest gigabit city project in the UK.”
The landmark contract will result in the Edinburgh CORE being extended from 50km to 150km to include the council sites.
Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre said: “In a matter of months, CityFibre’s partnership with Commsworld has begun a truly transformational infrastructure project in Edinburgh that continues to gather momentum.
“This contract, for hundreds of additional sites and a 200% extension of our planned network footprint is CityFibre’s largest to-date, and further demonstrates the power of our Gigabit City model. In our growing portfolio of Gigabit City projects, we are now a true infrastructure alternative to BT Openreach.”
A WAN allows a large organisation spread over a large geographic area and across multiple sites – such as a local authority – to relay information among staff, students, clients, buyers and suppliers. In essence, the WAN allows a business to effectively carry out its daily function regardless of location.
The ultra-fast WAN that Commsworld and CityFibre will introduce will allow the council services to run on “pure-fibre” technology for the first time, resulting in the various locations to communicate in real-time and carry out online services far faster.
Looking at schools specifically this could improve access to online learning resources, increased use of video or interactive digital services and more collaboration with other schools and council resources.
Chief Information Officer, Claudette Jones, said: “We are focused on using technology to enhance the experience of living, working and visiting Edinburgh, and we are excited to have CGI and its chose partners supporting the drive to meet our ambitions.”
Cllr Alasdair Rankin, Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, said: “In signing this contract we will transform the way we do business. One of the exciting things CGI will do through its chosen partners, including CityFibre and Commsworld, is speed up our move to greater online capability giving residents and businesses greater flexibility to engage with the Council and carry out their transactions digitally.
“This will make us a more efficient and effective organisation across our wide range of Council services.”
A council report published earlier this month said the ICT project would contain a commitment by CGI to deliver 25% or more of the contract value to SMEs by 2018 and Commsworld are one of the chosen SMEs to deliver on this commitment.
Digital Champion, Councillor Frank Ross added “Small and medium-sized businesses contribute almost £10 billion to Edinburgh’s economy each year and I am encouraged to see that they will be actively supported by CGI.”
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