Scottish council eyes savings from fibre network

Inverclyde Council has rolled out a £3m fibre-based network to reduce maintenance costs and to 'meet its data needs' for the next five years.

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Inverclyde Council has rolled out a £3m fibre-based network to reduce maintenance costs and to "meet its data needs" for the next five years.

The network, which includes an ethernet virtual private network (VPN) and voice over IP (VoIP) technology, will be used by than 5,000 staff at the council.

Supplied by ntl:Telewest Business, the network replaces a legacy system. The council expects to achieve a return on their investment within three years.

Once enabled, VoIP will provide free internal calls on the network, which will generate "significant cost savings" according to the council. What's more, billing procedures have already been rationalised to cut more costs and free up council time.

"Convergence has just started and, once fully deployed, savings will be made thanks to applications such as VoIP. We expect to reduce our revenue payments by £120,000 a year, every year for the next five years," said Gordon McLoughlin, head of ICT and business transformation at the council. "We now have the flexibility to provide scalable bandwidth to all of our council and school buildings," he added.

The VPN service delivers 10mbp/s bandwidth to each council building. Around 100 corporate and education sites are also connected to the ntl:Telewest Business network, and each can be increased to 100mb remotely, without the need for any equipment changes or the need to send out an engineer.

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