CUSTOMER STORY

Dundee City Council: wiring up Dundee’s libraries for the future

“We are gaining more bandwidth, more speed and flexibility without incurring extra costs.”

A Dundee City Council spokesperson

Snapshot

Operational goals

To make public internet services faster and more accessible for Dundee’s 145,000 residents.

Virgin Media Business Digital Solution

We installed a full upgrade of the public internet network.

Outcomes

An adaptable future-proof system, providing faster, more convenient public internet access for everyone.

 
 

Digital aims and operational goals

With an existing library-based internet service running at full capacity, it was time for an upgrade at Dundee City Council.

Dundee’s 145,000 residents already had access to internet facilities based at public libraries and council buildings. But with this network already running at full capacity, the Council was keen to take advantage of the lottery-funded People’s Network project. By fully upgrading the network, they could give the public faster, free internet access.

The only concern was timing – all work had to be completed by a strict deadline to receive the lottery funding. With an existing working relationship going back over a number of years, the Council turned to us. We would have to deliver speed. Both literally, with an increase in bandwidth and within a very short timeframe.

Our role

The People’s Network project started as a nationwide initiative to provide everyone with internet access in public libraries. As part of its Social Inclusion policy, Dundee City Council was already keen for people to learn how to use computers and how to access the internet.

Since the upgrade, the Council enjoys some 6,000 bookings per week. This not only demonstrates popularity, but also the network’s ability to handle this level of demand – something it would never have coped with in the past.

Instead of a 2Mbit/s service, the forward-thinking City Council opted for 10Mbit/s – well aware that the city’s data transfer requirements would only be heading one way in the future.

Our solution would involve running their circuits over 36 kilometres of fibre network around Dundee city centre. The only catch being – 36 kilometres of fibre network didn’t exist. Our team had to plan and construct it.

To keep to the tight deadlines we had to ensure the process ran smoothly. The local management team we put in place carefully co-ordinated the process between the construction teams, the city planners and engineers.

Everything went to schedule, and the Council gained the lottery funding.

Results

The Council was doubly delighted. A new network that was a vast improvement over the old one, yet more cost-effective. Users now enjoy dedicated support for data traffic. They don’t share with anyone else and it’s easier for people to do everything from their schoolwork and job hunting, to CV creating and shopping online.

So how did we do? We’ll leave you with some words direct from Dundee City Council.

“Meeting the deadline was crucial as the funding organisation required all spending to be complete by the end of the financial year,” said a Dundee City Council spokesperson.

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