VoIP halves council's telecoms bill

Trafford Council has cut its telecoms bill by half by installing a £1m voice over IP phone system.

Trafford Council has cut its telecoms bill by half by installing a £1m voice over IP phone system.

Using an Alcatel IP-based phone exchange and switches, the council has created a voice and data network to connect its 230 sites.

The system supports 3,000 phone extensions and provides unified messaging, voicemail, fax, e-mail and web conferencing services. The network is also being used to support remote working, and allows councillors to access the network from home.

All 600 staff at Trafford town hall use IP-based handsets, and staff at other council locations use either IP handsets or traditional phones. Under this set-up, the council runs a traditional phone network as back-up to the VoIP network, which is flexible enough to be extended when required, said Mark Gibbison, Trafford Council's head of e-government.

"The technology has enabled us to cut our telephony costs in half, allowing us to make additional investments in local services," said Gibbison.

The council expects to achieve return on investment within 15 months, said Gibbison.

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