When Grain needed a partner to help deliver the UK's fastest broadband.

The challenge

Countesswells is poised to become home to a new community of residents, schools and thriving businesses just five miles outside of Aberdeen City Centre. Forming part of Aberdeen City Council’s long-term plans, the Countesswells development represents the council’s significant support to the area through new housing initiatives, job prospects and infrastructure to support the local economy. The development itself will consist of 3,000 homes plus shops, offices, schools and medical centres upon its completion.

Connectivity is set to be key to Countesswells’ success.

Developer Stewart Milne Homes identified the need for a state-of-the-art Gigabit fibre network, in light of surrounding developments that had previously been plagued with insufficient broadband connections, a recurring point of contention for local residents.

To realise this ambitious objective, fibre communications provider, Grain was appointed to deliver its Hyperfast network – providing a private 1,000Mbps (1Gbps) fibre connection to every resident. With this forward thinking, Countesswells is the first new-town in Scotland to experience gigabit connectivity – up to 35 times faster than the average UK download speed.

To deliver this Hyperfast connectivity, Grain needed a network partner that had a national fibre backbone and that could support these high speeds, while offering uncontended connectivity.

After a competitive tender process, Grain selected SSE Enterprise Telecoms to deploy the backhaul network at Aberdeen City Council’s Countesswells development. In practice, this meant that SSE Enterprise Telecoms needed to provide a fibre backbone between Manchester – where a Grain data centre resides – and Aberdeen. Between Aberdeen and each of the Countesswells properties, Grain installs a bespoke, Hyperfast broadband network. SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ ever-expanding network and previous experience assured Grain that they had selected the right partner. Geographic reach, customer service, continuity and reputation were of significant importance to Grain and SSE Enterprise Telecoms ticked all those boxes.

Also with SSE Enterprise Telecoms, Grain benefitted from the same point of contact throughout the deployment, ensuring that any challenges were easily overcome by those closest to the project, which is unique within the telecoms industry.

The outcome

The new Countesswells community is starting to take shape, with 100 of the total 3,000 homes already built and residents starting to move in. SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ backhaul fibre network is supporting the new development, with Grain utilising the network to provide uncontended links into each individual property. What’s more, residents are guaranteed to experience the UK’s fastest broadband speeds, regardless of their neighbours’ internet use, through the partnership. By deploying a dedicated fibre network to each home, Grain can monitor residents’ broadband usage and respond to peaks in demand by optimising the network accordingly. This means that quality of service is maintained, compared to traditional copper networks that are routed in a central cabinet in the residential area.

As the development progresses over the next 15 years, the fibre network will be available for all new residents as they move into their homes, ensuring they benefit from Hyperfast broadband and a crystal-clear fibre connection from day one.

Grain has also agreed a special deal with a major media provider to ensure residents not only get the best broadband, but also entertainment packages at highly discounted rates. With fibre optic wavelengths directly connecting into each property, unsightly satellite dishes on every home are no longer required.

In recent years, SSE Enterprise Telecoms has made significant investment in its UK-wide network. This ensures that the company is strategically placed to connect remote sites. In fact, SSE Enterprise Telecoms recently announced the third phase of its network expansion programme, Project Edge, which brings the total number of exchanges served by its national fibre network to 140, with 300,000 prime business postcodes served.

“In partnership with SSE Enterprise Telecoms, we are thrilled to be able to offer new Countesswells residents access to the country’s latest and most advanced communications technology” said Richard Robinson, Managing Director of Grain. “Today, people not only expect, but require, uninterrupted and fast connection to the internet as our lives become increasingly online. It’s therefore essential for new developments to offer a well-managed network that delivers speed” said Rich Robinson, Managing Director of Grain. “Together with SSE Enterprise Telecoms, we are establishing a ‘true’ fibre community network to Countesswells, delivering direct connections from the internet to the router in each property, ensuring absolutely no congestion is experienced at peak times.”

“SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ reputation for reliability and service delivery were important factors in our decision, but equally important was its expansive network reach. At the outset of the Countesswells development and with a healthy pipeline of opportunities UK-wide, we needed a network partner that we could absolutely trust to deliver, regardless of location.”

About Grain

Grain provides developers with a ‘true’ fibre solution by increasing the perceived value of a home while reducing build costs. By delivering incredible speeds and reliability to customers, Grain affords the sales team another great reason for the home-seeker to buy their home. Proactively managing and integrating telecommunications network design into the developer’s build saves time and money, making sure customers have a connection available from day one.

For more information please visit www.grainconnect.com

Get in touch