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September 2019
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KBR Installs Award Winning Wireless Mesh Solution to 18 Towns and Villages throughout Northumberland

Northumberland County Council (NCC) prides itself on the range and breadth of services it delivers to the 300,000 people throughout England’s most northerly shire, which covers a vast area from the Tyne and Wear conurbation to the Scottish Borders.

Before 2008, Northumberland relied largely on leased lines for their internet connectivity and as they operate from hundreds of sites throughout the county, this proved to be a very expensive solution.


The council identified that by switching from leased lines to a more cost effective wireless delivery they could also take advantage of a variety of other benefits that could be utilised across the local authority.

By investing in a wireless mesh network platform, the council could begin offering shared services for its multiple offices and introduce home worker capabilities to its staff. The council also wanted to offer region-wide Wi-Fi connectivity which could be utilised by the local business community.


KBR is the leading wireless network solutions company that was commissioned by NCC to install and deploy full wireless mesh delivery to provide high speed connectivity and Wi-Fi at street level, across the county, for use by local authority staff and local businesses.
Working with KBR, NCC began developing the Northumberland Open Network to bring secure and resilient wireless connectivity to the region with the aim of delivering a managed costs effective network with provision for multiple stakeholder groups.

KBR has installed several hundred SkyPilot mesh nodes to cover 2000 km2 of the County of Northumberland.

Starting in the key towns of Alnwick and Berwick, KBR worked to integrate a wide range of council premises including; registrars, schools, libraries, colleges, local businesses, social services, highways depots and fire stations.


The council has been able to save hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum compared with the previous cost of leased lines.

A second major benefit of using a wireless mesh is that hubs can be rapidly decommissioned and redeployed. When new buildings are acquired or existing buildings vacated, hardware can be installed or removed quickly without expensive disconnection or reconnection fees. These savings are compounded by the indirect savings realised through IT centralisation and simplified network management.

Robin Price, Managing Director, KBR said: -This technology has never been deployed on this scale anywhere in the UK. We are delivering cost efficiencies, resilience and the opportunity for mobile and home working options for council employees.”

Winning the UK CEED National eWell–Being Awards 2010 ‘Better ways of Working’, KBR’s deployment for Northumberland has made the region a frontrunner for wireless mesh technology.

As a result, the council is also currently leading the way in delivering the next generation of broadband infrastructure which has placed the county at the forefront of e-commerce across the UK.

SkyPilot wireless mesh solutions have currently been deployed by KBR in Allendale, Alnwick, Amble, Ashington, Bedlington, Berwick, Blyth, Choppington, Cramlington, Haltwhistle, Haydon Bridge, Hexham, Morpeth, Newbiggin, Ponteland, Prudhoe, Seahouses and Seaton Delaval.

For more information call: KBR on: +44 (0) 191 492 1492 / Web:

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