Improved digital connectivity for Angus

Angus Council are set to improve digital connectivity throughout Angus as they create a core infrastructure that will provide greater digital accessibility to businesses and citizens in rural parts of Angus. 

The new infrastructure consists of several fixed radio masts that will provide connectivity in rural Angus for an effective solution to reaching remote and rural properties via high quality wireless solutions. 

Receiving funding from the Tay Cities Region Deal, the introduction of a new core infrastructure will improve digital connectivity and be a critical factor in the development of knowledge intensive businesses across Angus. 

Angus Council is working with Rapier Systems Ltd to build the core infrastructure, and partnering with SmartRural to accelerate the digitisation of the region by trialing and delivering a range of innovative use cases using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. It will also provide Internet Service Providers with the infrastructure to deliver Superfast Broadband to rural residences and businesses. 

Initial trials will see Network Rail, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), and other rural infrastructure owners and operators, explore the use of sensor technology and IoT devices to monitor, manage and extract real time, insightful data. This data will then enable them to transform their operations, create safer, more productive communities and environments and to deliver sustainable energy saving solutions and cost efficiencies, whilst making substantial steps in delivering Net Zero. 

Angus Council leader, Councillor David Fairweather, said: “Connectivity is a vital part of how businesses across Angus improve productivity, unleash new and innovative businesses processes and open up new opportunities and markets.

“We view our commitment to investing in digital infrastructure as being as vital to economic growth, and equally important as the physical infrastructure of our roads, rail and buildings. Our commitment to ensuring digital is at the heart of everything that we do, ensures that we will continue to deliver an inclusive economic growth, reform our public services and prepare our children for the workplace of the future." 

Paul Lindop at SmartRural said: “Angus is at the forefront of trialling and delivering a whole range of rural Use Cases supporting the digitisation of rural Scotland – from agriculture to rail infrastructure; from tourist locations to power network operations. We are extremely pleased to see that SSEN are already using SmartRural’s LoRaWAN network to perform field trials of devices that could potentially form part of their future smart grid, delivering decarbonisation of transport and heating for rural areas. We look forward to seeing other parties come forward and use this unique rural asset that Angus Council have created.” 

Richard Watson, Managing Director of Rapier Systems, added: “It is really encouraging to see a local authority play such an important part in a project like this, helping to leverage real-world benefits for rural businesses, such as those in Angus. Obtaining connectivity speeds previously the preserve of larger towns and cities will enable the broadband playing field to be more level than it has ever been before. We are delighted to be working with them and thrilled to be delivering this innovative connectivity service across the area."

The Tay Cities Region Deal is a partnership between local, Scottish and UK governments and the private, academic and voluntary sectors which seeks to create a smarter and fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross under the headings Inclusive Tay; Innovative Tay; International Tay; Connected Tay and An Empowered Tay.

In total, the 26 projects submitted require investment of £700 million of which £300 million over 10 years is being put in by the UK Government and Scottish Government, subject to final approval of robust business cases.

If every project and programme set out in the submission is funded and delivered, up to 6,000 job opportunities could be created across the tourism, food and drink, creative industries, eco innovation, digital, decommissioning, engineering, biomedical and health and care sectors. 

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