CSP deploy Dark Fibre Network to support Pinacl’s ‘Newport City Council’ digital strategy


Pinacl successfully designed and deployed a dark fibre network across Newport, alongside strategic partner Concept Solutions People (CSP) giving the Council access to a superfast and futureproof networking infrastructure.

The Newport dark fibre network, stretches 14km from Duffryn, where it connects into the Next Generation Data Centre (NGD), into the City Centre, over the River Usk and down into the Newport International Sports Village (NISV). The fibre network also stretches into several areas currently undergoing regeneration including Pillgwenlly, Gaer and Shaftesbury. The dark fibre network was installed in just 6 months, forming part of a hybrid network supporting the deployment of a public Wireless solution across 54 publicly accessible buildings including libraries, community centres, sporting venues and the Riverfront Theatre.

The network is also being used to support the CityConnect free public WiFi service throughout Newport. This service forms part of a city-wide public wireless concession contract awarded to Pinacl for a minimum of 10 years.


The face of Newport is changing, with regeneration projects taking place across the city. Newport’s brand new retail and leisure complex, Friars Walk, opened 12th November 2015 to an incredible response – 102,000 visitors on opening day and 350,000 visitors over the first weekend.

As part of the wider regeneration work, Newport City Council went out to tender for a Public In-building wireless solution which was funded through the Super Connected Cities Programme. A key part of Pinacl’s solution for Newport City Council was to invest in the design, installation and operation of a Dark Fibre Network.

The dark fibre network consists of over 14km of resilient fibre connecting the Council’s core sites across Newport, including:

• Newport Museum and Art Gallery

• Riverfront Theatre

• Fourteen Locks Canal Centre

• Belle Vue Park Pavillion

• Newport Market

• Mansion House

The remainder of the Council’s buildings are connected to the nearest core site via legacy fibre leased line circuits.


The investment by Pinacl to build a dark fibre network to deliver the public WiFi project in Newport now provides the Council, Citizens and Local Businesses with access to cost effective, high-speed communication services. This core infrastructure is scalable to match demand and will enable the Council to make significant cost savings in the future.


Pinacl’s innovation has provided the core infrastructure to enable a city wide wireless programme that allows citizens to access high speed public access wifi in the city centre, across public transport and at public locations across the city – for residents in social care, visitors to leisure centres, students and shoppers.

The dark fibre network provides a fully future proof networking environment for Newport, while delivering much needed and much improved high speed network access to the Council and local businesses. In addition, the fact that the dark fibre infrastructure is also connected to the largest datacentre in Europe, and number nine in the World, provides the ability to better serve local business communication needs supporting regeneration and inward investment in Newport.

Pinacl’s dark fibre solution has equipped Newport City Council to drive digital initiatives such as flexible working, online services whilst also promoting social inclusion via the availability of high speed internet access in deprived communities.


Based on the success of the public in-building solution, Pinacl were awarded a concession based WiFi contract to provide free WiFi across key City Centre locations including Upper Dock St, Corn St, Skinner St, Riverfront Theatre, Train Station, Information Station, Cambrian Road, Newport Market and the Bus Station.

NewportCityConnect is available 24/7 and provides users with unlimited, free usage. The network has been designed to provide sufficient bandwidth to support streaming services such as BBC i-player. Visitors and residents can access NewportCityConnect from any wireless enabled device by simply logging into the network via social media or registration form. Seamless login has been enabled so once the initial log in has been completed, users can get back online by just opening up a browser when in range of the network.


“Newport City Council has worked with Pinacl for a number of years to deliver several complementary digital infrastructure projects. The Council’s decision to partner with Pinacl was based on the company’s clear understanding of our business objectives, their willingness to be flexible and a proven ability to deliver. We would recommend Pinacl to others”.

Jo Evans, Digital Project Officer, Newport City Council

“We are delighted to be working with Newport Council delivering a complete WiFi service across 54 public venues, offering a quality, high speed and easy to use WiFi service. It’s especially pleasing that many of these venues are directly connected with our dark fibre network in Newport providing uncontended Gigabit connectivity. Our NewportCityConnect city centre WiFi has also been launched and already we have interest from local businesses regards commercial opportunities for advertising on the CityConnect service”.

Mark Lowe, Strategic Director, Pinacl