Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

Greater Manchester (GM) One Network

GM One Network will create a single active network infrastructure across a large proportion of public sector organisations, enabling network services across Greater Manchester to be provided more efficiently, securely, and flexibly.

A single physical active network across Greater Manchester with separate virtual networks for each organisation will be a true enabler of multidisciplinary team working for localities and beyond. It will ensure that all organisations get the full exploitation of the investment in the Full Fibre and create an environment in which these connections could be better used, be more resilient and be faster.

GM One Network is another example of the region making significant progress in our ambition to have world class digital infrastructure, having already rolled out the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) Programme, which connected more than 1,500 public sites across the city-region making. Whilst the LFFN programme is laying the foundations for a network of world class infrastructure, each of the organisations involved needs to consider how best to make use of that investment.

GM One Network demonstrates the value of close collaboration between GMCA, Greater Manchester’s local authorities, Fire & Rescue Services and Transport for Greater Manchester and subsequently those partners agreed to investigate the potential benefits of further collaboration to utilising a network without bandwidth limitations.

Programme benefits

  • GM One Network puts the foundations in place for future smart cities and place initiatives
  • Will improve user experience, by providing a common and consistent platform, meaning users can move seamlessly between public spaces
  • Will support the acceleration of adopting modern working practices such as Wi-Fi, remote and mobile working
  • Reduce spend on wide area networks (WAN), and other network and infrastructure services, including routers and firewalls
  • A “do things once” approach for Greater Manchester, removing the need for individual approach in each Local Authority, through standardisation and reducing duplication
  • Moving to platforms where reduced effort will be required to deploy, configure and install network infrastructure, using automation to reduce the need for third party site visits
  • The wireless-first approach means reducing the required density of fixed local area networks (LAN) connectivity, ultimately reducing site installation and maintenance costs.

Social value impact

Our partners have made a number of bold investments in social value initiatives that support Greater Manchester’s Digital Blueprint. The social value commitments will include:

  • Support for start-up businesses in Greater Manchester to create new products and services that deliver positive outcome for communities. Outcomes such as business mentoring, co-development of new products and university led research 
  • Career mentoring for over 24-year-old Greater Manchester resident seeking employment
  • Working with Greater Manchester schools to inspire students into tech and digital careers
  • Working with relevant stakeholders to offer digital skills training and initiatives
  • 28 new apprenticeship opportunities to be created
  • Over 3,300 volunteering hours to support community projects across Greater Manchester
  • Supporting digital inclusion initiatives through financial donations, Greater Manchester’s Databank and installing free connectivity, in some community sites across the region

Social value progress to date

  • Free connectivity has started to be installed at community sites across Greater Manchester, along with skills and tech support. Smallbridge in Rochdale was one of those sites selected to receive this digital support (external website) due to its involvement in the Ageing In Place Pathfinder – a GMCA-led programme working to ensure that the voices of people in mid and later life are heard and valued in the places that they live. Smallbridge is one of nine Pathfinder neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester that will benefit from locally created action plans designed to improve older residents' quality of life.
  • As of February 2024:

    • 15 apprenticeships are now in place across the region as part of the programme, via partners Cisco and Telent. The apprenticeships cover a range of technical roles, including engineering, marketing and project specialists.

    • Cisco experienced a record number of applications for this year’s regional work experience programme, giving students a glimpse inside the various areas of the tech company including sales, marketing, cybersecurity and networking. Students from 23 schools across the region applied to take part, with 70 students being taken on during the first year of the project, and another 25 ready to start next week. They will develop soft skills such as team working, time management and communication. Students will also work on a team Dragons Den project throughout the week, and on the final day they will present their idea to the Cisco Dragons.

    • 2,225 hours of volunteering hours have been invested into the communities of Greater Manchester, running IntoUniversity workshops, Foodtruck runs with Fareshare, and schools career events.

    • A T-Level industry placement programme is currently being hosted in Greater Manchester. There are four GM students participating in the first year of the programme which kicked off in January 2024. The six weeks programme aims to give ten students each year insight into the tech industry.