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Stirling upgrades its rural internet connectivity

Stirling Council has upgraded its internet connectivity in the region with the installation of a carrier-class microwave network.

The implementation will give remote parts of the region access to high-speed internet.

Lancaster-based networking firm, The Networking People, carried out the work. The network connects 24 satellite offices and outlying schools in the 817 square mile region, replacing ADSL lines previously used.

The firm said that building the microwave network on Stirling’s existing infrastructure saving 30 per cent in costs compared to an equivalent fixed-line solution.

Rollout of the network saw the challenge of connecting not only Stirling’s city centre public buildings, but providing network access to services in sparsely populated areas, almost devoid of any existing network infrastructure or access to high-capacity broadband.

Stirling Council’s ICT Infrastructure Manager, Alan MacDonald, said: “This has made a considerable difference to the primary schools and nurseries in our rural regions that now have far better access to learning and teaching resources.”

“They also have much more responsive access to the county’s cloud-based schools management system, which in the past had been slow and difficult to access.”

Milton of Buchanan Primary School, for example, went from a 512Kbps to a 10Mbps broadband connection and as a result gained access to key online resources such as BBC iPlayer for the first time.

“This is something that could only be achieved cost-effectively through the expertise of TNP, and not the traditional internet service providers (ISPs). At the same time, we have gained increased network security and improved network visibility,” said MacDonald.

“Rural connectivity in Scotland has become something of a specialism for us,” said Chris Wade, director of TNP. “Stirling posed some interesting challenges, with a majority of the population residing in the city and the rest spread over a vast and sparsely populated area.”

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