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SSE Telecom Expands Communications Coverage With Capita Deal

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Challenge to BT? New deal will see SSE’s Project Edge network double its business postcode coverage

SSE Enterprise Telecoms continues to expand the footprint of its communication service for businesses after it signed a seven year deal with Updata, the networking division of giant IT services provider Capita.

SSE said the deal will allow it to expand its service coverage from 250,000 business postcodes to over 500,000.

Network Expansion

The deal will also apparently allow SSE to shave two years off its planned network expansion programme, its so-called Project Edge scheme.

In addition, the deal reduces SSE’s network expansion cost by at least 50 percent, and has added 350 BT exchanges to the SSE network footprint.

This is not the first time SSE has opted for a partnership agreement to expand its network coverage. In April this year it signed a deal with CityFibre for access to the national network it had acquired from KCOM last December for £90 million.

The deal with Capita and Updata meanwhile will allow their regional data centres to connect directly to SSE’s national fibre optic network.

network cableThis will provide Capita with access to a highly secure (CESG CAS-T) and high availability network for its government and corporate clients.

“It is extremely exciting to be announcing such a significant agreement to the IT & telecoms market,” said Colin Sempill, MD at SSE Enterprise Telecoms. “Network and infrastructure sharing models like this are commonplace in mobile telephony markets, but very unusual on this scale in fixed line telecoms.”

“Doubling our service footprint in a relatively short period of time will make us one of the largest fixed line telecoms providers in the UK at a stroke,” said Sempill. “When combined with our reputation for reliability and service delivery performance, it will allow many thousands more businesses to benefit from our brand of high capacity, high availability services more cost effectively than ever before.”

Network Competition

“We’re very happy to announce our new commercial arrangement with SSE Enterprise Telecoms which will enable each party to address new market opportunities,” said Béatrice Butsana-Sita, Updata MD. “It’s very important to us that our customers gain access to the kind of robust, scalable, high capacity networking fabric that SSE provides nationally.

“Connecting our assets together in a way that allows each to share the benefits of the other just made sense,” said Butsana-Sita. “Specifically, this will allow us to provide dedicated networking services to enterprise-sized clients who need connectivity in all corners of the UK.”

The telecoms market in general could be heading for a potential shakeup. In September the European Commission introduced wide-ranging proposed reforms, including measures that could give telecoms companies and publishers more weight when competing with Internet giants.

In the UK meanwhile Ofcom proposed in the summer that BT Openreach should become more independent and transparent so it works for the benefit of all communications providers, not just BT.

Rival broadband providers and mobile operators however aren’t convinced it will solve underlying issues with the UK market.

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