Selkirk firm building for the future
A SMALL firm in the Borders has been awarded a contract on the biggest building project in Scotland for a generation.
The Networking Company, an IT business based in Selkirk, has been asked to provide Wi-Fi links to the construction site on the River Forth as part of the New Forth Bridge Crossing Project.
It includes creating a wireless link between the crane operators and satellite positioning devices.
And its staff are undergoing specialist marine and harness training to enable them to complete the project.
Allan Williams, Technical Director at The Networking Company, said: "As a local company, based in Selkirk, we are obviously delighted to be awarded such a prestigious contract. We were selected because of our ability to develop a solution requiring high levels of expertise in very short timeframes.
"Our brief is to provide a wireless link between the 30 metres high hollow concrete structures (caissons) that support the three legs of the new bridge, and the floating cranes that manoeuvre them into position. Our link connects the crane operators to satellite positioning devices on the caissons that determine their position and level.
"It's absolutely critical to the timeous positioning of the three support legs and being entrusted with this is a fantastic opportunity for a small local business.
"In addition we have been charged to create long range (5km) wireless links from the shore to the workforce in the Forth so they can connect to the internet and monitor the caissons positions.
"This has meant developing a solution that can withstand all weathers.
"The solutions were developed by our staff in Selkirk who have had to leave their normal environment and undergo marine and harness training in order to fit the equipment in and above the River Forth."
Construction of the new Forth Crossing began in 2011 and is due to be completed in 2016.
And the Networking Company, which employs 11 full and part-time staff at its offices in Back Row, Selkirk, is hoping its involvement in the £1.6 billion building project could lead to more work in the future.
Allan said: "We have had interest now from other constructors in the marine industry outside UK and are hopeful we may be asked to deploy another solution similar to the Forth Bridge Crossing in Sweden.
"For us this is definitely a good news story. We have been providing IT services in the Borders since 1999 and currently employ 11 full and part-time staff.
"In addition to business support we are Scotland's largest provider of Public Wi-Fi to the leisure industry and connected over 20,000 users across 64 sites last year. This involves installing systems over challenging terrain and covering wide areas - great preparation for the Forth Project."
This article appeared in Border Telegraph 17 Sep 12
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