City web wonders win big council network contract

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A Lancaster firm has won a £3.2m five year contract to design and build a high-speed broadband network.

The Networking People (TNP) was awarded the contract by Blackpool Council, which wants to connect almost 100 schools, libraries, leisure centres, business incubator sites and public buildings across the seaside resort.

TNP will use the latest technologies to provide the council with its own, bespoke, flexible wide area network (WAN).

Schools will be offered the best-price connectivity available, as well as migration to the cloud-based IT and software services, including Google Apps and Microsoft 365. Web-based phone systems will be installed, virtually eliminating school phone bills.

Libraries and leisure centres will be able to open up this high-speed WiFi to the public.

Chris Wade, director of TNP, which is based at InfoLab21 at Lancaster University, said: “As a regional, independent business, not only are we able to offer the council asset ownership of the network, but we can provide cost savings by integrating existing infrastructure.

TNP has taken on a sixth employee to help to roll out the network ver the next six months. The framework will allow at least six other Lancashire councils to join the network at any time.