Neos Networks brings broadband upgrades for utilities across Oxfordshire

Will connect over 200 public service sites across Oxfordshire with the aim of improving digital and social inclusion

The deal will see Neos Networks bring together vendors to build, manage and operate new infrastructure

Map of connected sites

LONDON, UK, December 14, 2021 – Aiming to improve connectivity and digital inclusion across the county, Neos Networks, one of the UK’s leading enterprise connectivity providers, has been selected by Oxfordshire County Council to Build fully gigabit fiber-enabled broadband infrastructure for a range of public sector and local authority sites in the region, including schools, libraries, county council buildings, medical practices, fire stations , recreation centers, community centers and museums. Under a 20-year agreement, Neos will work with Openreach, Virgin Media Business and locally based Gigaclear.

The project is being funded by a £5m investment from Oxfordshire County Council and an investment of around £2m from the government’s DCMS GigaHubs project, part of the Gigabit project. The GigaHubs project provides a rural full fiber footprint that will incentivize broadband providers to connect surrounding homes and businesses with next-generation speeds.

Currently 98.4% of Oxfordshire has access to ultra-fast broadband, but this initiative will significantly improve connectivity for over 200 buildings that provide public service, many of which are in rural areas where fiber connectivity is at both difficult to facilitate and costly to provide. Neos will manage the implementation with the first phase of the program expected to be delivered by March 2022. This is the first majority council-funded project aimed at improving the service offering available at community centers and venues. parties while providing a more cost-effective solution. connectivity solution for public sector sites.

Julia Lopez, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, said: “This huge government-funded deal for Oxfordshire will mean better public services that deliver more to communities and faster deployment of better broadband for homes and surrounding businesses.Upgrading schools, hospitals, libraries and other public buildings is just one of the ways our £5 billion Project Gigabit program is improving the UK, with thousands of rural homes and businesses ready to receive the fastest, most resilient connections available for a world in which technology plays an increasingly important role, from health and education to industrial applications.”

The project builds on Oxfordshire’s wider commitment to improving connectivity across the county through its digital infrastructure programme. It will enable Oxfordshire County Council to achieve its ambitions of equipping community centers to become ‘community work centres’ providing improved community services, health and social care support, and reducing the need for people to travel further to access these services. This in turn will help the county council achieve its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Additionally, the new infrastructure will enable the council to migrate to fast broadband connections at lower cost for its office buildings.

Councilor Glynis Phillips, Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Business Services, said:
“These are exciting times for Oxfordshire. We are devoting significant time and resources to ensuring that we are one of the best-connected counties in the UK. This project reinforces our commitment to our strategy of digital infrastructure and improving local access to services, thereby reducing the need to travel.We are particularly keen to find ways to maximize the range of services that will be enabled in the community centers and vibrant party halls of Oxfordshire, where collaboration with parish, district and county council will be key alongside our NHS colleagues.”

Neos won the contract following a competitive procurement process, due to its ability to bring together and manage multiple broadband providers to provide the best and most cost effective solution to Oxfordshire County Council. In doing so, Neos will leverage existing infrastructure and provide all-new, all-fiber connectivity to affected sites. In addition to boosting the provision of gigabit services for the council and its stakeholders, the new infrastructure will also encourage the construction of FTTP services by AltNets in the region.

“We are delighted to be working with Neos Networks and its suppliers on this project,” said Craig Bower, Program Manager for Oxfordshire County Council’s Digital Infrastructure Team. “This project builds on the success of our lightning fast intervention programme, with the County Council’s investment coming entirely from gain share funds accrued under our recently concluded ‘Better Broadband for Oxfordshire’ contract with Openreach.”

Jess Tweedie, Principal of St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, said: “We are expanding our school’s technology provision and use of ICT and online platforms and investing in devices as a tool in the classroom. We hope this will enrich and improve our program and the effectiveness of working with staff. We would also like to organize more online events for parents to support our community who largely work in the hospital and may find it difficult to attend in-person meetings. Our current internet can only cope with this and there is often buffering when many of us are online at the same time, so having access to full fiber optic broadband will be a huge advantage.

Commenting on the new agreement, Colin Sempill, CEO of Neos Networks, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Oxfordshire County Council to deliver the next stage of their connectivity strategy. Councils up and down the UK are struggling with below-average connectivity, especially in more rural areas. By building and deploying this new fiber infrastructure, we are able to provide Oxfordshire County Council with a major backbone fiber network that will bring new digital services to its premises, as well as to the homes of many people in across the county in the near future. ”

Neos was previously a division of national energy provider SSE. It has built a strong reputation for its nationwide high capacity fiber optic network and today works with a number of businesses and public sector organisations. Neos was recently nominated by local authorities in Perth & Kinross and Aberdeenshire for their connectivity deployments.

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About the Digital Infrastructure Program
The Oxfordshire Digital Infrastructure Program is led by Oxfordshire County Council in partnership with District Councils, Oxford City Council and OxLEP. It currently comprises six project components improving fixed and mobile connectivity across the county. The program is managed by Craig Bower, Program Director with Advisor Glynis Phillips as the Cabinet Representative Member for Corporate Services. The scheme began in 2013 as Better Broadband for Oxfordshire, which has provided super-fast broadband access to over 80,000 premises in the county and helped Oxfordshire have over 98% of homes and businesses able to access ultra-fast broadband services.

For more information on the Digital Infrastructure Program, please visit:
https://digitalinfrastructureoxfordshire.co.uk/whats-next/full-fibre/public-sector-hub-sites

To learn more about Project Gigabit – GigaHubs, please visit:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gigahubs-key-information

About Neos Networks
Neos Networks brings together the unrivaled expertise of dedicated professionals who combine the technical excellence and innovative approaches required to provide businesses, government organizations and their partners with a superior network that is the cornerstone of the UK’s digital future. . All of this is done in the spirit of collaboration, partnership and integrity because we know we can do more, together.

Our services are delivered via a 24,480km network covering the whole of the UK, offering a wide range of products and integrated solutions, including state-of-the-art WAN, Ethernet, optical and dark fiber services. With decades of industry knowledge and experience, Neos Networks can be trusted to deliver efficiencies as well as competitive advantage.

For more information, visit: https://neosnetworks.com

Contact CCgroup for Neos Networks
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