TNP accelerate lighting up full fibre in Trafford Greater Manchester13/12/2021

Public sector networking specialist TNP (The Networking People) has been selected as the strategic partner for full-fibre Wide Area Network service delivery and support in Trafford.

The contract award won via open tender further cements TNP’s position as proven supplier to deliver network solutions to local authorities in the region, including the Manchester City Council WAN project awarded in February which is already more than 90% delivered.

The new contract will ensure that Trafford is one of the first boroughs in Greater Manchester to begin mainstream use of the infrastructure installed through the Local Full Fibre Network collaboration across GMCA. The £23.8m GMCA LFFN project is the Government’s biggest full fibre investment in the UK and has been designed to connect more than 1,500 public sites across the wider city-region.

The WAN is a key element in the Council’s delivery of a diverse range of ICT services to businesses and residents in the borough, Greater Manchester Police, schools, Trafford CCG, and co-located organisations and partners.

All equipment installed to use the dedicated fibre network will be owned by Trafford and managed by TNP. Where it has been installed within designated Trafford locations, the fibre network is for the sole use of the Council, and all the fibres terminate in one of 3 designated Openreach exchanges within the borough – Altrincham, Sale & Urmston.

TNP Commercial Director Chris Wade from TNP explained: “The fibre service infrastructure is uncontended and unrestricted. It is essentially private and separate from any other ICT infrastructure, our job is to bring that fibre into use quickly and cost effectively, transforming a passive fibre infrastructure by adding all the active equipment and service layers to start delivering the high-quality high capacity connectivity that the borough needs.”

The Council wanted a single strategic partner to design, supply and implement a Wide Area Network primarily utilising Trafford’s LFFN infrastructure but also, where appropriate, making use of other carriers to enable continued delivery of services to its customers.

We were keen to appoint a partner who could meet and deliver on all our requirements now and in the future

explained Jon Thomson Head of IT Operation’s at Trafford Council. “The services and solutions TNP deliver will give the Council the flexibility to meet the needs of our customers in an ever-changing landscape”.

Working in collaboration with the Council, TNP will manage and support the service and project manage delivery of the new network and ensure network security. The scope of the contract includes migration from the existing platform over to the new infrastructure. TNP will also help to shape and develop a strategic roadmap for the WAN and network services in line with the Council’s digital strategy.

Cllr Mike Freeman, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Covid 19 Recovery and Reform, said: “I am pleased that Trafford Council will be quickly utilising the newly built GM Local Full Fibre Infrastructure to operate network services across the borough. The network will provide a reliable and flexible foundation for delivering digital services to the people and businesses within Trafford.”

The contract will run for three years with provision for a further two-year extension and encompasses connecting sites within Trafford excluded from the LFFN. TNP will use the most appropriate carrier technology and combine that with the LFFN infrastructure to create a single WAN solution.

Chris added: “Bidders were required to fulfil certain criteria to secure the contract, and those in many ways mirrored the capabilities of TNP. For example, experience and capability in the design and implementation of alternative technologies, ensuring that emerging delivery architecture, such as SD Wan, can be easily implemented, and providing the ability to integrate existing infrastructure or assets into a solution to deliver best value.

“As an organisation we are also ‘technology agnostic’, so will select the most appropriate infrastructure and equipment whilst demonstrating best practices to achieve the desired solution. Taking over management and first line support of the LFFN circuits on behalf of the Council creates a single point of contact for any network related issues and is a natural progression of the services we provide to public sector clients. Our team of skilled professionals are flexible and agile and will be supporting the Council’s in-house network and communications team with both day-to-day issues and long-term planning.”

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