Birmingham connects services with new converged network

Birmingham city council is nearing completion of a new converged IP network to connect 240 offices, 60 libraries and 450 schools.

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Birmingham city council is nearing completion of a new converged IP network to connect 240 offices, 60 libraries and 450 schools.

The Cisco converged IP network replaces three previous networks and will support 20,000 users and more than 30,000 ports.

Service Birmingham – the strategic partnership between the council and Capita – aims to use the IP network to improved delivery and access to local public services. The new network will also support the council's business transformation programme, which is expected to cut costs by £1bn over 10 years.

The deployment is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month. But partial roll-out is already estimated to have saved the council £350,000 a year on communications and infrastructure costs and to have cut network management costs by 40%.

Andrew Mackey, head of networks at Service Birmingham, said: "Our aim is to help Birmingham city council transform the way it serves the community by providing joined-up council and community services for Birmingham citizens where and when they need them, in the most efficient and convenient way. The Cisco IP network underpins Service Birmingham's work to improve services for Birmingham."

The network will mean that members of the public can access a range of services such as council tax and benefits information, social care and ancillary services from school buildings as well as from traditional council offices.

Service Birmingham is looking at future uses of the network, including the possibility of giving staff a single IP telephone number to use wherever they log on.

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