£32million Contract for Thus

Thus to supply high-speed broadband to council sites across the south of Scotland

Network operator Thus has been selected by The South of Scotland Broadband Pathfinder Project for a network deployment that will provide high capacity broadband links to schools, libraries and council offices throughout Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders. The network rollout, worth up to £32 million, is expected to be completed in 2008 and will help local authorities be more efficient and effective in the provision of services.

The South of Scotland Broadband Pathfinder Project aims to deliver a high bandwidth data service to 410 connections in the south of Scotland, including 201 educational institutions. The broadband rollout is also intended to increase the availability of high speed broadband service to business across the area, helping the rural areas of Dumfries and Galloway and The Borders compete in the global market.

Alan Hasson, Project Director for the Pathfinder South Broadband Project, commented, “The vision of the Pathfinder project is to provide our schools, libraries and local councils with the most advanced communications technology. Ensuring that local public services have access to the latest broadband is vital and we wanted to boost learning and teaching practices though technology as well as modernise the services we offer the public. We are confident that the network Thus has been commissioned to supply us with will help us meet our objectives fully, providing better economic and social benefits to our citizens across the region.”

Bill Allan, CEO of Thus , said, “Thus has an excellent track record in providing solutions to the public sector and this contract is further endorsement of our capability and expertise in this area. Pathfinder South is a vitally important project, delivering next-generation services to local communities.”

Education Minister Peter Peacock said, “This is a major step forward for Scottish education and public services and a major contract to a Scottish based company. The Scottish Executive recognised that in parts of Scotland – in this instance Dumfries and Galloway – the private market was unlikely to produce the infrastructure needed for modern day life as costs to create the infrastructure were high and returns low because of the small population. The Executive has therefore made sufficient sums available to secure the broadband network.

“By bringing advanced broadband to every school, and other public sector sites, across the region, this project will help make Scotland a connected place. Pupils and teachers from even the most remote areas will find their learning enhanced by new opportunities from online distance learning to video conferencing. The network will also help support the GLOW national schools intranet, making sure that every school has the connectivity to be able to take advantage of the benefits, such as information sharing, which this new intranet will offer.”