Luton Borough Council (LBC) has joined other local authorities in implementing a high speed WAN linking council offices and schools.
The network, installed by NTL:Telewest Business, links council buildings in the town centre as well as those located further afield. Staff will have secure access to the council network, allowing for a faster and more efficient exchange of information.
Chris Kadwill, head of ICT operations at LBC said: "We all need information at our fingertips — dial up and snail mail don't provide this — our broadband transport method will."
The borough's schoolchildren will all have access to the Luton Learning Grid via the network with a bandwidth of up to 10Mbps. The network will also allow staff to collaborate with other schools via online tools such as network videoconferencing.
The network has potential to be significantly upgraded at low cost — with broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps possible.
The service will help the council meet government targets for local education authorities' comms.
Kadwill said there are many potential uses for the network, from flexible and homeworking for certain staff to links with other public sector agencies. "Transformation cannot happen without a solid and sound foundation/platform on which to build — this infrastructure provides that," he said.