East Sussex County Council installs broadband with BT

East Sussex County Council has awarded BT a multi-million pound contract to provide a next generation broadband network for 174 primary schools.

East Sussex County Council has awarded BT a multi-million pound contract to provide a next generation broadband network for 174 primary schools.

Working in partnership with MLL Telecom, BT will provide a managed radio wave network under the council's Next Generation Network (NGN) programme.

The NGN project - which also incorporates all main council offices - will deliver faster connections by using a combination of fibre and radio antennae-based services, linking the schools to the new network via a high-speed, secure, private connection.

The new network will help schools meet national technology standards and provide the capacity for future developments in e-learning, learning platforms and educational ICT systems across the county, such as the potential for voice over IP (VoIP) and video conferencing.

Providing the connection speeds required through the NGN project is the most cost effective solution, as speeds and bandwidth can be increased as and when required, including the option to extend the service to an additional 130 council sites.

The point-to-point wireless connectivity will be supplied by MLL Telecom. MLL's technology provides low powered, narrow beam connections between roof-mounted antennas.

It does not provide "blanket" coverage such as mobile phone or media broadcast networks - helping to allay fears that wireless networks can cause health problems.

Councillor Bob Tidy, cabinet member for e-Government at East Sussex, said, "This project will provide schools with a better broadband network at exactly the same cost. They will have vastly improved e-learning capacity without having a big slice taken off their school budgets. It will also deliver a secure network that will block unsuitable websites getting through to schools."

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