University of Leicester achieve ROI within 2½ years from new Dark Fibre Network on a 30-year service.

UoL had a requirement to replace their existing wide area network with a resilient network connecting two data centres and twenty one buildings. Their old network was based on dark fibre which the existing network provider no longer supported.

The only option offered by the existing network provider was for the University to upgrade their network to a supported platform. This platform would be based on the carrier’s standard telecom circuits with annual rentals based on bandwidth required. For the University to upgrade the existing network to deliver the bandwidth, resilience and connectivity required would result in a sizeable increase in the associated annual rentals as well as connection charges.

The initial challenge for UoL was to find a new provider that could replace their existing Dark Fibre network with a reliable, flexible solution offering at least equivalent capacity and cost. UoL selected the Janet Telecoms Framework agreement as a cost effective and efficient method of procuring the replacement network.

Pinacl Solutions designed a resilient Dark Fibre ring, providing UoL with the freedom to connect whatever communications equipment they want, at the bandwidth they require. Pinacl selected Concept Solutions People (CSP) as their preferred Dark Fibre Supplier to carry out the network build.
CSP completed the build of the Dark Fibre Network for the sole use of UoL, which supports high speed services which are infinitely faster than traditional communications technologies.

By deploying the new dark fibre network, Pinacl and CSP have provided a fully resilient and future proofed networking environment enabling the University to support its current and future network strategies and be capable of supporting the bandwidth hungry needs of today and in the future whilst ensuring sustainable high speed network access for all of its users. CSP will also provide a standard care maintenance / service level covering Customer Affecting Critical Faults, with an 8 hour response and fix target clearance time, for a minimum of 5 years giving the University IT Team absolute peace of mind.

The work undertaken by CSP involved the deployment of duct and cable infrastructure, which is based on a 96 fibre G.652d Single Mode core ring needed to support the dark fibre network, around the city of Leicester, with a substantial amount of the ducting being installed via horizontal directional drilling (HDD) techniques. HDD is a fast and effective technique which not only keeps disruption to an absolute minimum, which was truly appreciated throughout the build by Leicester City Council, but also significantly speeds up the deployment process.

Each of the University remote sites, 21 in total, have been connected to the main ring via 12 fibres giving each site diverse routing back to both the Main ICT Suite and the Physics Data Centre. CSP also provided the University with a 96 fibre link between Main ICT Suite and the Physics Data Centre. The whole project was deployed, tested and handed over for use within 7 weeks… Incredible!!

Our aim at CSP is always to provide and deploy Dark Fibre infrastructure for our clients which will provide an on-going legacy due to its ability to accommodate high data volumes, which will provide opportunities for other services to utilise the fibre as and when and to further extend the current University campus network both speedily and cost effectively when required.