News & Events - Tue 19th Oct 2010

19 Oct 2010 @ 09:00 Contract signals digital revolution for Barnsley

Barnsley Council took a giant leap into the digital age yesterday when it signed a five-year, £1m-plus contract for the provision of its communication networks.

The deal with Digital Region will cover council buildings and Barnsley schools.

The first council building to switch over will be the town hall next month and the first schools to connect will be the new Advanced Learning Centres at Carlton and the Dearne, also in November.


The Digital Region network is not only bringing high speed broadband to the council, its schools and citizens and businesses, but is delivering a secure network rated highly enough to qualify for public sector network accreditation. The network migration will take approximately two years to complete and will then generate savings of more than £100,000 a year.

Phil Coppard, chief executive of Barnsley Council, said: "The signing of today's contract is a key step towards achieving our ambitions of economic growth and a Totally Online Barnsley.


"This contract is good news for Barnsley for three reasons: it will save the council more than £100,000 when the network migration is complete; Barnsley schoolchildren will have access in the classroom to the best internet speeds available; the Digital Media Centre will be able to provide its tenants with superfast broadband. We hope this will encourage new businesses to start up in Barnsley."


David Carr, chief executive of Digital Region, said: "Our network future-proofs the council's communications, providing a technology foundation that greatly supports Barnsley's vision of getting its residents and businesses online by 2012.

"Barnsley now has the infrastructure to support a thriving digital economy, which creates employment and enables residents and businesses to benefit from cutting edge services.

"We greatly look forward to working with new and existing companies in South Yorkshire to make this vision a reality. By providing the region with a communications network that is faster, more secure and more reliable than anywhere else in the country, we are positioning South Yorkshire at the forefront of the UK's digital economy. Barnsley Council's decision to migrate all its communications onto our superfast broadband network is an important milestone in the region's development."

"It will enable the council to raise efficiency by sharing departmental services and will result in a saving of more than £100,000 a year. The network offers the highest quality information security, ensuring the council will meet the proposed government standards for participation in its public sector network, enabling it to tap into and share access to all parts of the public sector.

"And it is important because some areas of the council had unreliable connectivity, these can now access guaranteed speeds far in excess of those they used before.

"But most importantly, Barnsley Council can start to use the network to improve the lives of those who are socially disconnected from friends and family and help those who are digitally excluded gain access to services, which are only available with high-speed broadband."

The switch-over will also mean that Barnsley schoolchildren have access to the best internet speeds available. This is great news for children and their teachers who will benefit from higher quality, faster access to the internet and to web-based learning materials.

The Digital Media Centre in Barnsley will be able to use its guaranteed one gigabyte per second connection to provide its tenants with
superfast broadband speeds.

Eventually 97 per cent of Barnsley homes and businesses will be able to access the Digital Region network and take advantage of superfast broadband.

Barnsley Council says it is particularly pleased that the signing of the Digital Region contract took place at the start of National Get Online Week.

This initiative seeks to encourage people to use the internet to see for themselves how it could improve their lives.


For information about Digital Region services click here

For more information about Get Online Week click here

Location: Barnsley

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