Neos Networks on track to enable Oxfordshire’s smart county ambitions - Neos Networks

Neos Networks on track to enable Oxfordshire’s smart county ambitions

Project is set to deliver broadband upgrades for over 175 public sector sites across Oxfordshire by the end of 2023

  • Neos Networks

London, UK, 22nd March: Neos Networks, one of the UK’s leading fibre connectivity suppliers, today announced that it has built infrastructure to over 90 public sector and local authority sites in Oxfordshire to access gigabit capable full fibre broadband. This milestone is part of the GigaHubs project to upgrade connectivity infrastructure across Oxfordshire in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council with additional funding from Building Digital UK.

The project is on track for completion by the end of 2023, by which point Neos Networks will have significantly improved connectivity for buildings providing public services across the region.

The project began at the end of 2021 with four of the eight delivery milestones having been completed to date. Sites including community centres, village halls, schools, libraries, GP surgeries, leisure centres, fire stations and museums, are already benefiting from gigabit connectivity, improving service quality for end users and allowing public spaces to better fulfil their roles as Community Hubs.

Part of a 20-year deal, the project sees Neos Networks act as an aggregator bringing together several connectivity suppliers—including Openreach, Virgin Media Business and regional AltNet Gigaclear—to build, manage and operate the new infrastructure.

The GigaHubs project has a primary aim of bringing fibre right into the heart of communities, improving service efficiency whilst providing fibre ‘hubs’ from which industry can additionally connect other businesses and homes.

Following the council’s Better Broadband for Oxfordshire and Businesses in Rural Oxfordshire projects, the addition of the GigaHubs project will mean over 1,500 km of fibre has been provisioned to lay the foundations for a ‘smart county’.  This improved connectivity is a key component in enabling future innovation such as drone corridors, connected autonomous vehicles, and other ‘Internet of Things’ services for residents and businesses.

As part of the council’s commitment to improving connectivity in rural locations and its corporate buildings, Faringdon Library and Woodcote Community Centre are two of the first to have full fibre broadband under the GigaHubs project. There is an outline plan for community facilities like Woodcote to be able to offer a wider range of services, possibly including health, social care, and third sector services.

Councillor Glynis Phillips, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Corporate Services said: “We’re delighted with the progress that the project has made over the last 12 months. Transforming broadband infrastructure across the county is providing a springboard to improve the services we provide to our community and will be key in maintaining our position as one of the UK’s best-connected counties. We are proud to be delivering on our commitment to our Digital Infrastructure strategy by bringing more opportunities and quality of life improvements to the doorsteps of our citizens.”

Mark McCree, Service Manager of the council’s library service said: “The upgrade to our broadband service at Faringdon Library is having a noticeably positive impact on service delivery. We are seeing much faster speeds on public computers, staff PCs, self-service kiosks, and public Wi-Fi connections. The improved Wi-Fi now supports flexible working, meetings and hotdesking for visiting staff.”

Karen Woolley, from Woodcote Community Centre, said: “We’re always looking for ways to improve our services  for local groups and individuals who hire rooms in our premises. Being able to provide a good Wi-Fi connection has become an increasingly important aspect of our bookings, so we are delighted with the new full fibre broadband that’s been recently installed.”

Sarah Mills, Chief Revenue Officer at Neos Networks, said: “We’re delighted to continue to deliver for Oxfordshire County Council, providing them with better, faster connections. We are in the process of rolling out new fibre across the region in areas that have traditionally suffered from limited access to connectivity and digital services. As the project progresses and we move closer to completion, it will also provide a boost to the local economy as connectivity attracts new investment and businesses to the area.”

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