CityFibre signs £5.6m comms contract with Edinburgh council

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Deal is part of recent £186m procurement deal between Edinburgh and outsourcer CGI

CityFibre has extended its existing Gigabit City project in Edinburgh to an additional 294 council-owned sites in an agreement worth at least £5.6 million. The seven-year deal, which features options to extend to a maximum of 19 years with a lifetime contract value of £16 million, will be carried out in conjunction with national telecoms provider Commsworld.

It will replace the expensive, capacity-constrained copper circuits provided as part of a long-term contract by BT. The new contract is part of a wider £186 million outsourced ICT procurement for the council won by global ICT firm CGI, that will create the single largest pure fibre city roll-out in the UK.

The 100km network extension will future proof one of the UK’s largest unitary local authorities and will expand the 50km ‘Edinburgh CORE’ anchor network project delivered in partnership with Commsworld.

On completion in 12 months time, the total number of connected buildings on the network will exceed 500. Existing construction teams already deployed on the Edinburgh CORE will ensure the roll out is accelerated and available to even more public sector, business and mobile cell sites. It is also designed to function as a backbone for any future deployment of fibre to the home connectivity.

Key sites to benefit from CityFibre’s investment will include council offices, community centres and libraries. 137 primary and secondary schools will also benefit from increased bandwidth, up to 50-100 times faster. Edinburgh’s 17,000 businesses also stand to benefit as the network grows to areas like The Gyle, which was not included in the first phase city-centre roll-out.

Fibre Optic Networks Cable telecomsCouncillor Alasdair Rankin, convener of the finance and resources committee at Edinburgh City Council, 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.”

Ricky Nicol, CEO of Commsworld, said: “The reach and benefits of this network will have a hugely positive impact on Edinburgh as a whole but 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.”

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said: “This is CityFibre’s largest contract to date and in such a prestigious city as Edinburgh, it is a landmark in our growth as a firm. In a matter of months, CityFibre’s partnership with Commsworld has begun a truly transformational infrastructure project in the city.

This contract solidifies the power of our Gigabit City model and indicates the appetite from city leaders to embrace a new generation of infrastructure. In our Gigabit Cities, we are now a true infrastructure alternative to BT Openreach.”