Superfast data as well as superfast trams will soon travel along the new Nottingham Express Transit lines to benefit local businesses.
Nottingham has an innovative approach that ensures world class fibre optic cabling is installed when major works are being planned. During the construction of the NET tram extension to Clifton South and Toton Lane, the City Council took the opportunity to install 17km of underground telecommunications infrastructure along the routes, taking advantage of lower installation costs, and avoiding any future disruption to car drivers and pedestrians.
Now the City Council has signed a multi-million pound 20-year concession agreement with ITS Technology Group which will see the city’s telecommunications ducting being used to connect local businesses to superfast broadband. The deal is at no cost to the council by ensuring it recoups its initial modest investment, as well as guaranteeing it an income over the life of the project.
Over the period of the agreement, ITS will extend the reach of the fibre network up to 100kms, at no cost to the city council. The network will be operated as an ‘Open Access Network’. This means that any other operator will be able to use the fibre to connect to their customers, and will be able to do so at a fair commercial rate. By having an Open Access Network, customers and businesses benefit from faster and more reliable connectivity at lower costs than are currently available.
ITS Technology Group has been awarded the 20 year contract to manage the infrastructure and install the telecommunications. They are already delivering similar services to other cities. Their focus will be on the high growth, Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) market, which will include strategic sites along the tram route such as Ng2, Nottingham Science Park and Nottingham’s Enterprise Zone.
As well as managing any future installations, ITS will also bring improvements to the city centre which are currently not served by ‘super-fast’ services, including the Creative Quarter and its newly refurbished creative units at Sneinton Market.
Roy Shelton, CEO of ITS Technology Group, said: “We are delighted to be part of this exciting concession agreement. We look forward to enhancing the digital lives of the businesses and communities that are based around Nottingham city centre. This type of infrastructure investment is essential to the development and regeneration of areas and is the fourth we have completed within the past 18 months to add to our 17 established networks across the UK.”
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