Digital connectivity specialist awarded £2m government 5G rollout contract

A digital connectivity firm based in Edinburgh has secured a four-year £2m contract to advise the Scottish Government on its 5G rollout programme.

Farrpoint will be a strategic advisor to Scottish Futures Trust – the infrastructure body – on key elements of next generation connectivity.

The company has supported central and local government throughout the UK to drive the rollout of high-speed digital connectivity.

A major part of this work involved supporting broadband and the most recent full-fibre programmes, both in urban centres and the most rural geographies. With the increasing reliance on mobile connectivity, and the launch of 5G, improved mobile coverage is now becoming an essential requirement for businesses, government and the public, alongside fixed connectivity. 

The Scottish Government set out its 5G strategy in late 2019 with an aspiration for Scotland to be at the forefront of this revolution and, ultimately, to establish the whole country as a leading 5G digital nation.

Scottish Futures Trust, the infrastructure centre of expertise owned by the Scottish Government, is taking a leading role in delivering key aspects of this ambition.

In order to meet the Government’s goals, many different aspects of digital connectivity need to be considered, ensuring the supporting infrastructure of fibre, radio sites, data centres and international connectivity is all in place to help deliver the revolution that 5G promises.

As such, Scottish Futures Trust required independent support from a consultancy team with demonstrable experience in these areas and with a solid, well established understanding of the practical as well as theoretical.

FarrPoint was appointed as a result of a competitive tender and will now support Scottish Futures Trust for the next four years to help further develop Scotland’s connectivity and position the country firmly on the world’s stage. 

Dr Andrew Muir, CEO of FarrPoint said “We’re absolutely delighted to have been appointed by Scottish Futures Trust on this major programme of work for Scotland. 5G can support so many new use cases both in urban and rural geographies and the journey is only beginning. That is an exciting and rewarding place to be for our consultants and we really look forward to working with Scottish Futures Trust to support the delivery of the Government’s ambition. It’s going to be an exciting ride.”

Full details of the contract can be found here. In the document notes attached to the contract, the invitation to tender specifies: “SFT wishes to appoint a single provider to a Framework Agreement for the provision of Digital Infrastructure technical advisory services for a term of 4 years. The services are for general and specific advice relating to the design, deployment, operations and maintenance of fixed and wireless telecommunications infrastructure across Scotland supporting the SFT Digital Infrastructure team. This is to help deliver the team’s on-going objectives supporting the Scottish Government’s 5G Strategy. The services required will include projects such as the ongoing delivery of the 4G infill programme and the development of 5G projects and supporting work on Data centres and international connectivity.”

FarrPoint’s experience includes having advised on over £2bn invested in digital connectivity; enabling Superfast Broadband in 250 towns & villages across the Highlands & Islands; delivering next-generation access to 1 in 4 Scottish homes (750,000 properties); and advising on the UK’s first analogue to digital Telecare solution, with 175,000 users across Scotland.