Network for the northeast

Wansbeck District Council in the north east of England has deployed an Alcatel IP network to enhance CCTV surveillance and improve communication for council employees.

The installation, completed by Rapier Systems, gives Wansbeck a converged network for voice, video and data, and Wansbeck’s 500 employees benefit from free VoIP based internal calling. The Northumberland-based council has also created a licensed wireless network called COMSEN (Community Network South East Northumberland), covering more than thirty public sector buildings and supporting several thousand users, to enable more efficient communication between neighbouring local authorities.

Previously, Wansbeck had been maintaining three separate networks for voice, video and data communications. The new network allows Wansbeck to effectively route region-wide CCTV feeds on the same network as voice and data traffic, making community security surveillance video easy to access and significantly reducing network operating costs.

The network also enables staff to gain swift access to council resources and other employees, while the contact centre solution has helped improve not only collaboration among agents and council staff, but also community customer service. Eight walk-in centres supporting residents of the Northumberland area are linked into the Wansbeck network and enable rapid response and resolution of service requests.

Wansbeck also has future plans to increase the level of usage of the network by other public sector partners, and it hopes to be able to set up a virtual call centre using home or remote agents in addition to office-based employees.