Newcastle City Council have appointed Aspire Technology Solutions to deliver a next generation full fibre network serving hundreds of public sector sites across the region. The state-of-the-art network will be delivered by Aspire, in partnership with Virgin Media Business Wholesale.
The venture 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 has already been crowned ‘Smart City of the Year 2020’ for its innovative approach in using technology to help transform services and improve the lives of residents. Aspire’s full fibre network will further advance the city’s digital transformation.
Aspire is one of the UK’s fastest-growing IT companies and were recently named Company of the Year at the North East Business Awards. The company have set ambitious plans for improving digital innovation across the North East. Supported by Virgin Media Business Wholesale, Aspire launched their own full fibre North East network in 2018 after a £2.5m investment in local infrastructure. Known as Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity (UDC), they offer North East businesses internet connectivity of up to 100 gigabits per second, some of the fastest speeds and one of the most reliable services available in the UK.
As part of the full fibre rollout, Aspire will significantly grow their existing Ultrafast Dedicated Connectivity network. Detailed planning is already underway as the company prepares to expand and enhance their digital infrastructure to serve Newcastle’s demands both now and in the future.
The project will see vital public sector sites including hospitals, schools and government buildings benefiting from full fibre 100 gigabit connectivity. A move which will future proof services and enable them to adopt new technologies to improve how services are delivered for local residents.
Councillor Joyce McCarty, deputy leader of Newcastle City Council says: “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. Aspire have already made great progress towards improving digital innovation across our region. We are excited to be working with their talented team to realise our ambitions of putting digital at the heart of our city.”
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. Newcastle City Council will benefit from access to Aspire’s in-house 24/7/365 IT support and service desk to ensure maximum productivity.
Aspire have recently announced plans to move to new headquarters at the Pipewell Quay development, located on the site of the former Baja Beach Club on Gateshead Quays. The move will enable them to increase their 160-strong workforce in the process.