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BT today announced that it has been awarded a multi-million pound contract with East Sussex County Council (ESCC), working in partnership with MLL Telecom to provide a managed radio wave network for 174 primary schools 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 doesn’t provide ‘blanket’ coverage such as mobile phone or media broadcast networks. With MLL, BT can extend its local reach through fast deployment of a cost effective technology. This ensures that the solution will match the reliability and service quality that the Council demands and offer a sound foundation for the future.

Mark Quartermaine, managing director, Government Services, BT Global Services UK, said: “This contract will provide the convergence platform for the future of learning in East Sussex. The Next Generation Network will bring the Council benefits including greater levels of flexibility, greater bandwidth capacity, increased speed of delivery and lower cost of ownership compared to the alternative upgrades available. It represents the next step on the voice and data convergence strategy for ESCC.”

Rick Hudson, chief executive officer of MLL Telecom, said: “MLL is very excited about working with BT to help ESCC get the best network for unparalleled value. Through our work with other public sector organisations, we are confident in our experience, expertise and ability to deliver a winning formula. MLL's track record means we can assure ESCC of the highest levels of technology, ease of deployment and are happy in the knowledge that our cutting edge solution is backed by robust service level agreements”.

Councillor Bob Tidy, Cabinet Member for e-Government, ESCC, 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.”

About BT

BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include networked IT services; local, national and international telecommunications services; higher-value broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale.

In the year ended 31 March 2007, BT Group plc’s revenue was £20,223 million with profit before taxation of £2,484 million.

British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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About MLL Telecom

MLL Telecom is a privately owned, UK based company that specialises in service delivery via point-to-point wireless. Formed in 1992, MLL manages connectivity for many public and private sector organisations, including The Police and Local Government, as well as mobile and fixed line operators.

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