Midlands Connectivity Boost: SSE Enterprise Telecoms and Jisc to launch brand new fibre network across the region


Education and research centres, including universities of Birmingham and Warwick, to benefit from connectivity speeds of up to 100Gbit/s

SSE Enterprise Telecoms, one of the UK’s leading connectivity suppliers, has been chosen by Jisc, the digital solutions provider for the UK research and education sectors, to launch the ‘Jisc Midlands’ network. The brand-new network is a combination of the current Jisc East and West Midlands networks and will enable education and research facilities across the region to tap into connectivity speeds of up to 100Gbit/s.

As the UK looks to achieve full-fibre connectivity by the end of the decade, SSE Enterprise Telecoms is partnering with like-minded businesses to initiate innovative projects that will drive forward fibre networks and improve access to services. The new network forms part of this strategy and will provide education and research facilities across the region, including the universities of Birmingham, Warwick and Nottingham, with access to higher bandwidth.

SSE Enterprise Telecoms was awarded the contract following a competitive procurement process. Jisc chose the business as it met the key criteria of being able to design a fast and reliable network that could support required bandwidth at the best value; a critical need for education and research hubs as they increasingly raise their capacity requirements, with biggest users in the region currently utilising up to 20Gbit/s.

SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ flexible, resilient and high-bandwidth network will ensure long-term value for money. As Jisc is a publicly funded organisation, ensuring projects are undertaken in a way that is most cost-effective to its members and customers is a significant factor in procurement.

A key element of this project is SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ ability to incorporate other service providers’ networks. As well as utilising its core network, SSE Enterprise Telecoms will ensure that Jisc receives the best possible value by using fibre from three other telecommunications companies and undertaking strategic construction to achieve an optimum bespoke design, based on the most advantageous routes and not dependent upon fibre ownership.

Today’s news, the latest in SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ ongoing network expansion drive, further strengthens the near 20-year relationship between SSE Enterprise Telecoms and Jisc. Most recently the two businesses announced a partnership to update and consolidate the Janet South network again extending a working relationship for the continued management of the UK Backbone network.

Colin Sempill, CEO, SSE Enterprise Telecoms, said:

“We are delighted to have been awarded the Jisc Janet Midlands contract. This network will help Midlands-based education and research centres connect and collaborate across the region and the wider UK, as well as access the Internet and Cloud applications. It will enable them to connect to global research centres, further driving innovation and supporting the UK’s ambition of being a leader in research and further education.”

“Today’s announcement is a further extension of our long-standing relationship with Jisc. Over this time, we have built a deep understanding of their requirements when rolling out new infrastructure. We’re looking forward to working with them closely on this project.”

Neil Shewry, Head of Delivery, Jisc, said:

“Our customers need fast, reliable and resilient networks that support their high bandwidth demands. We’re excited to be partnering with SSE Enterprise Telecoms, a continuation of our long-standing relationship, to launch the Jisc Janet Midlands network, addressing these requirements.

“SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ ability to design a resilient network, which aligned with our price point was a key consideration when making the decision to award the contract.”

About SSE Enterprise Telecoms

SSE Enterprise Telecoms provides class-leading connectivity and data centre services that deliver very high performance, cost efficiency and a competitive edge. The company operates a 12,000+km private telecoms network and an estate of 80 commercial data centres that span the UK. With its extensive telecoms and data centre operational expertise it offers commercial security with unrivalled in-house engineering resource.

With a passionate and conscientious team, as well as the backing of the SSE Group and Infracapital, it continues to invest in the future of its customers, staff, services and infrastructure. For further information, please visit: https://ssetelecoms.com/ or the SSE Enterprise Telecoms blog: https://ssetelecoms.com/insights/blog/.

About Jisc

Jisc’s vision is for the UK to be the most digitally advanced education and research nation in the world. At its heart is the super-fast national research and education network, Janet, with built-in cyber security protection. Jisc also provides technology solutions for its members (colleges, universities and research centres) and customers (public sector bodies), helps members save time and money by negotiating sector-wide deals and provides advice and practical assistance on digital technology. Jisc is funded by the UK higher and further education and research funding bodies and member institutions.