Portsmouth City Council taps MLL Telecom for future network

Initiative designed to offer schools, residents and businesses a fibre framework that will support existing and future digital services

Portsmouth City Council has engaged UK public sector secure managed networks firm MLL Telecom to provide connectivity services.

The framework contract – partly funded by the Department For Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme – is part of the Solent Network initiative and aims to improve Portsmouth’s network infrastructure, with existing network systems consolidated into one to future-proof the council’s digital ambitions.

The Solent Network is seen as pivotal in increasing fibre infrastructure in the south coast region and aims to enable businesses and residents to benefit from enhanced connectivity services, with higher speeds, greater network capacity and more digital services. The network will underpin Portsmouth Council’s digital transformation initiatives, boosting the city’s growth and development.

The network will initially be made available to various Portsmouth City Council sites and schools, with the possibility of extending access to neighbouring councils, such as Gosport Borough Council and Southampton City Council.

The project is expected to be completed in March 2021 and will see MLL Telecom light a new dark fibre network infrastructure supplied by alternative UK fibre network provider City Fibre and operate wide area network (WAN) services for voice and data services. Connectivity will be available at a minimum rate of 1Gbps to each site, and will deliver access to internet services, Microsoft Azure and the health and social care network.

Commenting on what the project could bring, Natasha Edmunds director of corporate services at Portsmouth City Council, said: "The Solent Network will give us the flexibility and network capacity we need to support our existing and future digital services. A key benefit will be that pupils in Portsmouth schools will be able to access cutting-edge technology and be at the forefront of the latest developments in education. We look forward to working with MLL Telecom as one of the partners in this exciting project.”

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