A new high-speed fibre network will ‘future proof’ digital education in 42 schools across Dundee, it was announced today.

Forty kilometres of fibre will be laid to ‘radically transform’ the internet capabilities of the city’s schools, with connection speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second set to be offered.

Commsworld, the Edinburgh-headquartered connectivity firm, will deliver the £2.6 million contract with Dundee city council over the course of the next 10 years.

The local city governance committee approved the deal with the company, which will ‘plan, design, migrate and manage a completely new fibre network service’. 

The enhanced service will also be underpinned by a ‘robust security solution that will boost digital education provision for pupils across the city’, the firm said.

It will replace the ageing infrastructure in primary and secondary schools, with initial speeds at a minimum of 1Gbps and scalable to 10Gbs per school.

The new infrastructure will allow each school to boost their digital learning capabilities, in particular enabling greater use of cloud-based services. This includes full reliability, enhanced security and safeguarding support, plus fully filtered real-time connectivity to ensure all pupils are kept safe online. 

Commsworld will also build in extra capacity that will be able to easily absorb any future increases in demand in the years to come.

The new fibre infrastructure will be linked to Commsworld’s Optical Core Network (OCN), a next generation multi-million pound network in which it continues to invest, and which was built specifically to boost security and resilience of digital infrastructure to organisations not only in Scotland but across the UK. 

Councillor John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: “These services will allow digital learning to be upgraded even further in schools and enable greater use of cloud-based services. The tender is structured in such a way that spare capacity will be built-in to ensure future growth can be easily accommodated.”

Councillor Stewart Hunter, convener of Dundee City Council’s children, families and communities committee, added: “We are keen to achieve Digital Schools Award Scotland (DSAS) status by next summer and, with digital infrastructure such as high-speed fibre internet as a key plank of digital learning, this contract will be an important step on that journey.”