Kingston Communications wins contract to replace Harrogate Borough Council's fiber network with Nortel's GigE technology

January 19, 2004

3 Min Read

HARROGATE, U.K. -- Harrogate Borough Council has awarded Kingston Communications a substantial contract to replace its existing fibre network with Nortel Networks' Gigabit Ethernet technology that will bring a ten-fold increase in information carrying capacity.

Kevin McHugh, data communications manager at the council, said the aim of the project was to upgrade its local area network (LAN) performance to reduce congestion during peak periods and support the ever-increasing demands of new applications and more powerful computers.

"Our old network was becoming obsolete," he said. "Its performance was inadequate and the equipment was becoming less reliable with age.

"Our aim was to replace it with a modern, resilient computer network that could support increased volumes of traffic as well as next generation multimedia applications and systems - such as voice and video - that will be deployed as part of the eGovernment agenda."

Under the terms of the agreement, Kingston is installing a metropolitan area network supporting both front and back office council staff.

Based on Nortel Networks technology, the new, fully integrated telephony and data ready network - comprising 17km of fibre - will link 14 council sites. These include museums, the cemetery, leisure centres and Harrogate International Centre, where conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs are held.

Aside from providing the council with increased time between component failure, the new network will also provide a more robust infrastructure that will support the council's 'access to services' initiative.

Currently, Harrogate Borough Council provides over 100 services to some 140,000 people, including refuse collection, public health and bereavement services.

Kevin McHugh said the contract had been awarded to Kingston after a lengthy selection process because the council was looking for a company with a proven track record of installing similar networks.

"We were looking for technical competence and project management skills as well as the quality systems that Kingston had in place - such as ISO9000," he said. "Kingston produced a quality solution that met or exceeded our specification at the lowest price."

He added that the council had opted for Nortel Networks technology primarily because of its quality of service (QoS) support, price and the level of resilience provided through its new split multi-link trunking (SMLT) architecture.

"At Nortel Networks, we are focused on designing networking solutions that will help improve public administration, making it more reliable, more efficient and more cost effective," said Mike Bowman, Kingston channel manager, Nortel Networks.

"With their new data network, Harrogate Borough Council will be able to benefit in the future from applications such as video conferencing and next generation multimedia developments along with unrivalled support for IP telephony.

"Split Multi Link Trunking continues to differentiate the Nortel Networks solution. We understand the critical nature of voice and other applications and downtime, even for a few seconds, is unacceptable to our customers," concluded Bowman.

Kingston is upgrading the network using Nortel Networks' fully redundant Passport 8600 routing switches as well as BayStack 380 and 470 switches. Nortel Networks Optivity Policy Manager will be used to manage the network centrally.

Paul Hudson, managing director of Kingston Communications' Integrated and Managed Services unit, said: "By working in close partnership with Nortel Networks, we have been able to deliver a high quality, best value solution that will provide the council with far greater information carrying capacity."

Kingston Communications

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