THUS connects Scottish Borders in £32 million broadband project

THUS has been called on to help equip schools, libraries and council offices in south Scotland with high-capacity broadband connectivity by 2008 as part of 32 million government-backed network initiative to improve public services.

The South of Scotland Broadband Pathfinder Project contract was signed on Friday and work will start immediately, resulting in 410 high bandwidth data service connections throughout Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders.

In addition to supporting more than 200 educational institutions through the roll out, the initiative hopes to aid local companies and help them compete in the global business arena.

It is claimed that, once fully rolled out, the new network will be up to 50 times faster than current forms of connectivity.

Educationally, teachers and pupils will benefit from virtual classrooms and conferencing, with the opportunity to share ideas and best practice in a forum that spans geographic boundaries and time zones.

"This project will provide a new central nervous system for the local authorities in the South of Scotland," said David Hume, chief executive of Scottish Borders Council.

"The fast transmission of information and data across our areas will mean not only better, faster and more responsive local services, but also will ensure richer learning environments in our schools, community centres and libraries."

The Pathfinder initiative was launched in December 2004. Bids were received for the tender earlier this year, with the contract awarded last month.

"To be able to take over and run with a project of this size and get to contract signing stage in under two years is excellent work by the project team," said Convener of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Councillor Tommy Sloan.

He added: "It shows what can be done when councils are prepared to work together. Our public services will be able to compete with the most switched on in the central belt and our schools and learning networks, in particular, will get high speed connections to all the latest developments."



Cable & Wireless

Research Machines

Siemens Communications

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.