Sunderland City Council has signed a multimillion-pound 10-year contract with BT for a new network, which it says will give the authority greater flexibility to build on current broadband speeds and cut costs.
BT will deliver a corporate network connecting 188 sites, including council buildings, which is intended to help make public services more efficient and effective.
Tom Baker, head of ICT at the council, says the deal will provide "significant cost savings" equal to a double-digit percentage of the total contract value, but was unable to give details of a precise figure. He said the lengthy period of the contract has resulted in commercial benefits to the council.
"We were keen to enter a partnership and it was clear that BT was prepared to work closely with us over 10 years, so we don't feel as if we are 'locked in' with them as BT will be constantly working with us," he said.
Councillor Paul Watson, leader of the council, says Sunderland has a good track record of working with BT. "The partnership will put Sunderland's residents, businesses and the council at the forefront of developments in government IT services," he said.
BT has been Sunderland City Council's supplier of corporate network solutions for over 10 years.