Thus Signs £70m contract for Highlands and Islands

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Thus has announced that it has signed a contract with The Highland Council for a seven year, £70 million project providing high capacity broadband links to schools, libraries and other council buildings throughout the Highlands and Islands.

The Highlands and Islands Pathfinder Broadband Procurement Project will deliver a high bandwidth network infrastructure to 850 sites, with a focus on providing schools with access to state-of-the art teaching and learning support. The Highlands and Islands Pathfinder Broadband Procurement Project will be launched today at Crown Primary School, Inverness by First Minister, Jack McConnell MSP with the roll out scheduled to be completed within two years.

Following a detailed evaluation of bids last year, The Highland Council selected Thus as preferred supplier. The team identified that Thus offered the optimum solution, using a mix of fibre, wireless and copper-based connections, which fully met the aspirations of the team and exceeded the minimum requirements set out in the Invitation to Negotiate.

Arthur McCourt, Chief Executive of The Highland Council, said: "Ensuring that local public services have access to the latest broadband technology is a vital step in modernising local government. It will provide a tremendous boost to modern learning and teaching practice and to the provision of services to the public."

Securing this contract establishes Thus as the sole provider of the Pathfinder Projects (North & South) in Scotland, and contributes to its aim of becoming the pre-eminent alternative telecommunications provider to BT.

Bill Allan, Chief Executive Officer, Thus plc said: "We are delighted to have signed this important contract. Thus is a well established supplier to both National and Local Government, and to add the Highlands and Islands Pathfinder Broadband Procurement Project to our extensive public sector portfolio is further testament to our capabilities in this sector. "