Scottish connectivity specialist FarrPoint is set to open its second overseas office on the back of a new partnership to create a "one stop shop" of support services to US state and territorial governments looking to deliver affordable high-speed broadband to their citizens.

The Edinburgh-based company has teamed up with Vernonburg Group to deliver programme design, connectivity mapping, procurement exercises and deployment assurance from its new office in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Co-founded in 2006 by chief executive Andrew Muir, FarrPoint first expanded overseas with the opening of a Canadian office and subsidiary in early 2020. The company is advising the UK and Canadian governments on broadband and mobile infrastructure programs, including the UK’s nationwide Project Gigabit investment.

READ MORE: Scottish digital consultancy FarrPoint is on a mission to change lives through connectivity

“Improved digital connectivity is vital to support growing economic activity and sustain communities, and that’s equally true on both sides of the Atlantic," Mr Muir said.

"Our extensive experience in the UK and Canada stands us in good stead to support the US market. We’ve accumulated a wealth of knowledge on the selection of broadband suppliers through major procurement programmes, together with the deployment management that follows."

Based in Savannah, Georgia, Vernonburg advises governments, internet service providers, connectivity hardware and solution providers, and non-profit organisations on various aspects of closing the digital divide. This includes digital equity program design and implementation, large scale project feasibilities, public and private sector fundraising, broadband mapping and economic modelling, broadband policy and regulation, and market research and risk assessment.  

The partners plan to assist clients in leverage federal funding through the capital projects fund of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) programme, and the Digital Equity Act (DEA) programme to deliver more extensive internet services. To do this, states and territories will need to identify eligible locations, issue calls for proposals, select subgrantees, and then oversee their programs to ensure they meet service commitments.

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“Affordable high-speed internet connectivity is now essential to everyday life," Vernonburg chief executive Paul Garnett said.

"Unprecedented funding for broadband has created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring affordable high-speed connectivity to every unserved and underserved household in the United States, as well as programs that increase adoption of digital services. With this funding, universal and affordable high-speed connectivity can be achieved.

“We are excited to partner with FarrPoint and leverage our combined expertise to help state and territorial governments get the most out of available broadband funds.” 

Mr Muir added: “Signing a contract is not the end of the job and both grant holders and supplier recipients need to be prepared for the challenges of rollout.

"Our knowledge and experience of these stages will help US states and territories meet these challenges ahead. Partnering with Vernonburg Group will allow us to deliver our breadth of experience to new US clients.”