SSE Telecoms beefs up Aberdeen network to support oil and gas sector

SSE Enterprise Telecoms joins forces with brightsolid and Tampnet to support datacentre connectivity for the oil and gas industry

Network infrastructure supplier SSE Enterprise Telecoms has partnered with cloud-hosting and datacentre provider brightsolid and offshore networks specialist Tampnet to improve bandwidth and speed to service for the oil and gas industry in north-east Scotland.

SSE will deploy a Ciena-based platform to connect brightsolid’s Aberdeen datacentre to its 100Gb network, with offshore capabilities to be provided by Tampnet.

A large number of energy firms and support organisations are located in Aberdeen and are likely to remain so despite the crash in oil and gas prices in recent months, and the threat that the North Sea reserves may soon be unprofitable to extract.

It was paramount, said SSE, that brightsolid’s carrier-neutral datacentre offered the most resilient network possible, with high speeds and bandwidth, and low latency.

SSE said its countrywide high-speed links – it operates a 13,700km private telecoms network and an estate of 15 datacentres in the UK – coupled with the energy efficiency of the new facility, made it a good hosting base for businesses based elsewhere in the UK as well.

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World-class facility

Tampnet – originally a project of the former Norwegian government-owned oil concern Statoil – operates a high-capacity telecoms network connecting around 220 oil and gas platforms in the North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Its network comprises a fibre backbone, supported by radio access links and 4G connections. It recently expanded into telecoms transit between Norway and the UK.

Richard Higgs, brightsolid CEO, said he wanted to be able to bring a world-class facility to customers.

“The communications service we are delivering will be world-class; somewhere that can facilitate the growing trend to migrate assets to the cloud without concern for capacity, security or speed,” he said.

Innovation hub

It has been estimated that the project could bring £120m growth into the local economy, as its Aberdeen City Council seeks to transform the Granite City into an innovation hub.

Councillor George Adam claimed that, for every £1 invested in ICT in the city, £20 was generated. The cumulative investment from SSE and brightsolid totals £6m.

“Brightsolid will act as a critical datacentre hub, and our ultra-resilient network will provide the roads to and from it, made more significant by the co-operation of Tampnet, which extends this connectivity even further afield,” said SSE Enterprise Telecoms managing director Colin Sempill.

“We are committed to investing in the future of UK telecommunications and this latest project will serve to get customers connected quicker, to a reliable network, that will serve demand both now and in the future.”

Trygves Hagevik, sales director at Tampnet, said: “The future of the oil and gas industry will shape businesses and consumers alike; making reliable and flexible connectivity absolutely essential.

"It’s not enough, however, to just have good connectivity off-shore or onshore. These need to link together and be able to do so quickly.”


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