IT, telecoms and infrastructure consultancy FarrPoint have successfully supported West Sussex County Council in securing £4.66 million of funding from the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Challenge Fund, under Wave 1, and in procuring services to upgrade and future-proof the connectivity to Districts, Boroughs and County sites across the council area.
The fund, a government led initiative from DCMS (the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport), finances ambitious projects aiming to extend the availability of full fibre infrastructure throughout the country. West Sussex County Council will use the funds to secure an upgrade of their own connectivity, as well as that of other public sector partner organisations, by sourcing dark fibre connectivity for the long term, with a view to migrating their connectivity services over these circuits.
FarrPoint initially provided expert technical and commercial advice to West Sussex County Council in developing a business case and a funding application. Once successful, FarrPoint supported the county council through all stages of the bid process from development of a procurement strategy, preparation of the procurement documentation, running of the process, right up to contract signature. The combined experience of the team in connectivity projects, enterprise IT and of the market was invaluable during the process to ensure a successful outcome that satisfies public sector needs in connectivity, bringing substantial long-term benefits to the local authority and partners.
The framework between West Sussex and Cityfibre takes the form of a four-year agreement available to all public-sector organisations in West Sussex to benefit from. The first contract on this framework will serve District, Boroughs and County buildings across nine cities and towns of West Sussex: Bognor Regis, Burgess Hill, Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham and Worthing.
Speaking about the project, FarrPoint co-founder, Dr Andrew Muir, said: “This project has been a great success for FarrPoint and adds to our portfolio of public sector work. The final agreement represents a great connectivity solution for West Sussex County Council who will benefit in both the short and long term with reduced costs, increased capability and efficiency across their networks. It will also support collaboration and efficiencies between public-sector agencies and can provide a platform on which to accelerate the health and social care integration.”
“Throughout the project we applied our prior knowledge on what is required for a successful LFFN bid and procurement process. With the third wave of LFFN funding approaching, we are confident our expertise and experience can benefit other local authorities looking to improve their fibre capabilities and be well equipped for the digital challenges of the future.”
FarrPoint is an Edinburgh-based consultancy advising organisations throughout the UK on telecoms, IT and technology. Earlier in the year, the firm increased its presence in the North east of England, opening an office in Manchester and appointing two new consultants. The company also recently helped land successful bids for full-fibre funding in the Highland Council and Greater Manchester areas.