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Surrey County Council today signed a #13 million contract with leading telecommunications company Cable & Wireless, using technology from the equipment supplier, Cisco Systems.

The groundbreaking project, known as SWAN (Surrey Wide Area Network), will involve the replacement of ageing computer and telephone networks across County Council sites (excluding schools) over the next 18 months as part of a major modernisation programme. The state-of-the-art technology will allow greater efficiency and support the Council's e-service strategy of providing public access to all its services by phone, the internet and digital tv by 2004.

The Council's Executive Member for resources, Peter Langham, said: "This is an exciting development that will provide an important boost to the capacity and reliability of our telephone and computer systems, as well as making it cheaper to operate. Efficiency savings can then be re-directed to front-line services such as schools and social care."

"The contract will play a crucial role in helping us achieve our ambitious target of being able to provide all our services electronically one year in advance of the Government's target."

David Hopkins, Business Development Manager Local Government, Cable & Wireless, said: "We are delighted to have been chosen by Surrey County Council to lead the implementation of this state-of-the-art communications network. It is networks such as these that will form the basis of a common e-government infrastructure that will change the way in which citizens interact with government, and make it easier for public sector organisations to interact with each other."

Nick Wilkins
Brodeur Worldwide (for Cable & Wireless)
01753 448883

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