UK Broadband (UKB) have today announced that Swindon will become the first local authority in the whole of the UK to have a 4G-LTE network covering the whole of its borough.

UKB, has initiated a project in partnership with Capita, Swindon Borough Council’s IT service provider, to rollout a hybrid microwave/4G LTE network across the borough delivering significant savings on Swindon Borough Council’s current communications budget.

Installation of the network has commenced and when complete will provide a complete wireless  solution for both the public sector and businesses.

In the future it is hoped local residents will also be able to take advantage of new 4G services through retail partnerships.

“UK Broadband is leading the way when it comes to commercial LTE deployments in the UK,” said Nicholas James, CEO at UK Broadband. “Not only are we rolling out some of the UK’s first commercial LTE networks, we are also demonstrating how this technology can be used by local authorities in urban areas to deliver next generation services and save money. By deploying our unique combination of very high speed microwave and high capacity multi-channel LTE we can deliver truly wireless towns and cities. We can also deliver super-fast home broadband in line with the government’s broadband ambitions.

“We have commenced building the core transmission network and have committed to delivering £480k worth of savings in the next five years for the local authority as well as enabling the introduction of innovative services and solutions for the public sector and businesses. Swindon Borough Council have a history of championing innovative digital projects, such as their aspirations of providing Wi-Fi to the whole town through Digital City and the Highworth pilot project. We’re confident that by working together with Swindon Borough Council, we will demonstrate how wireless technologies can be best deployed across a town or city to deliver real benefits to a wide range of individuals, organisations, businesses and the public sector.”

“This deployment will allow us to deliver next generation services, while making substantial savings,” said Hitesh Patel, Swindon Borough Council’s Board Director for Transformation Strategic Projects. “We are a forward looking local authority, eager to embrace the benefits of innovative new technologies, and believe that this project will provide the infrastructure Swindon needs to continually succeed in both the public and private spheres.

“The increased speed and reliability provided by the use of smart devices and superfast next generation mobile broadband will enable public sector workers to be more effectively and easily connected to their core office systems and data whilst working in different localities. It will allow us to begin adopting working practices that will significantly improve the efficiency with which key services are delivered. For example, we envision that key front line staff, such as social workers, would be able to update case records remotely and prepare for their next visit without needing to return to a central location. Capabilities such as these will form the basis of more efficient service delivery, alongside the savings on communications budgets”

“As local authorities face increasing pressure to deliver more for less, technology has a role to play in enabling improved efficiency, productivity and realising cost savings. The partnership continues to work with Swindon Borough Council to identify how the technology can best be exploited to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver vital services to the community. The opportunity for the Council to make the network available to other public and private sector organisations in the future further strengthens the value of Swindon as a business centre,” said Tony Lubman, Regional Director, Capita.

Initial services on the network will be fixed connectivity solutions. Mobile Wi-Fi (Mi-Fi) devices will be available from September and mobile data services will be available from this point.

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