Aspire takes broadband and Wi-Fi connectivity to the edge at The Sill

20 September 2017

The centre is named after the Great Whin Sill, a well-known local geographical feature.

The centre is named after the Great Whin Sill, a well-known local geographical feature.

The latest tourist attraction in North East England will be able to stay connected thanks to Aspire Technology Solutions.

The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre opened in July at the village of Once Brewed on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland National Park (NNP). The £14.8m facility hosts exhibitions, learning and event spaces, a café, shop and youth hostel. It also serves as a rural enterprise hub, housing new and emerging local businesses.

Gateshead-based Aspire provided two 100Mb dedicated broadband connections at The Sill as well as 20 SIP lines for voice connectivity. It also provided six single lines which are used for alarms and emergency connections in lifts.

The firm had take into account the historic sensitivity of the Hadrian’s Wall corridor which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In fact, the route had to be re-planned halfway through the project as it was discovered that a vallum was present around two metres under the ground. Aspire arranged for a new site survey, with representatives from NNP, Openreach, and the building contractors McAlpines, to ensure that the planned route fell inside Historic England’s approved parameters.

Stuart Evans, head of corporate services for the NNP Authority, says broadband provision to the region’s rural areas is vital to realise the economic and educational potential of The Sill. He adds that speeds that are up to 10 times faster than superfast broadband will result in a visitor experience that equals that of central London. “This means our universities, colleges and visiting schools will be able to study at The Sill in confidence, and businesses operating from [the centre] will receive a competitive advantage. This excellent broadband and Wi-Fi facility will also help to realise our aim of creating 120 additional jobs as a result of the project.”