No buffers to high-speed internet scheme

An engineer works on the new broadband system.

An engineer works on the new broadband system.

Schools, ferry terminals and community buildings in the isles have been given high-speed internet access through a project installed by The Networking People and Shetland Islands Council.

SIC representatives and staff from TNP marked the completion of the scheme earlier today.

The new IT system is connected by a network designed by TNP and replaces the Scottish government-funded Pathfinder North project, which came to an end on 20th March and would have cost £1 million to renew.

Chris Wade, director of TNP, said: “This was a challenging project and had to be completed to a tight timescale before the incumbent solution came to an end in March. The complexity was heightened by the remote nature of Shetland and its unique, extreme weather conditions, with ground wind speeds in excess of 60mph.

“The worst weather for 20 years hit Shetland in January and February 2014, when our engineers were installing masts at heights of up to 40 metres in the path of oncoming storms that subsequently flooded and destroyed parts of the UK.”

In total, TNP installed equipment on seven masts to provide connectivity for 21 sites and provided consultancy support to the council on how best to connect the remaining 39 sites.

TNP said its engineers made use of all existing assets where possible and guided the local authority through the purchase of additional equipment and services direct from manufacturers, saving thousands of pounds.

Tony Lavelle, ICT analyst at Shetland Islands Council, said: “The team at TNP were never daunted by the scale of the task at hand and shared our can-do attitude towards this complex project.

“Their experience in this field was invaluable and TNP enabled us to deliver this unique project on-time and on-budget.”TNP - Shetland Island 7-K2000

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Broadband

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