Dorset County Council is implementing a broadband network to connect 343 sites in the county.
Dorset has so far connected 37 secondary schools, 163 primary schools and 143 other sites to the network, including daycare centres, libraries and council offices. The council will spend £4.7m over five years with supplier Updata.
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The network provides 10mbps connections to secondary schools and 2mbps connections to primary schools, enabling the council to meet the Department for Education and Skills' minimum connectivity targets.
Bernie Dinsdale, Dorset County Council's ICT strategy manager, said, "The actual cost of a line is about half the price of the previous supplier." The council is using some of the savings to replace ageing ISDN lines.
The cost of implementing the network will be met within three years, he added. Although the council will save some money from year four onwards, its total bill for data will be similar to its current bill because of the cost of improving bandwidth to some sites.
Ninety people at Dorset County Hall are to take part in a trial of a wireless voice over IP network. The council officers, from Dorset's shared business services and highways departments, will be equipped with wireless laptops and digital phones