MLL Telecom and Customer Service Direct (CSD) have delivered a single high speed network £11 million programme to connect schools, libraries and county council buildings in Suffolk, which was completed in January 2012.

A total of 318 schools have signed up including new academies and free schools across Suffolk and so far 219 schools along with 48,815 children have been linked into the Next Generation Network (NGN) programme.

Customer Service Direct (CSD), a joint venture between Suffolk County Council, Mid Suffolk District Council and BT has managed the programme.

Graham Newman, Suffolk County Councillor, and Portfolio Holder for Children, Schools and Young People’s Services, said: “When our children leave school they will be entering a business world where high speed networks are a basic requirement, not a luxury. So it’s important they are learning in an environment that replicates that and gives them every opportunity to be successful in later life”

MLL Telecom were commissioned by CSD to build a high speed fibre optic core network; it initially connected around 700 sites using a range of the latest access technologies based on a fibre and copper solution provision. The public sector network has been designed to allow shared use by any public sector organisation in Suffolk, whilst maintaining the privacy and security of traffic between the different users.

CSD Programme Manager, James Crane, said: “We are delighted to be delivering this new network for Suffolk’s Schools and Council services. On-line technology allows children to learn in new ways that are tailored for the individual pupil. This network provides a safe environment for pupils to access the internet and share resources with each other.”

NGN is delivering a step change in IT services for Suffolk schools:

  • “… We’ve got evidence that shows that it is probably worth half a grade at GCSE difference, if you have access to (on-line) resources…” Neil McLean, Executive director of Becta
  • Schools across Suffolk are already consuming data at a rate equivalent to 40 books every second – the new network is providing an order of magnitude (x5) increase in capacity as the existing network is about to reach its limits
  • Based on average 300 page book being 0.5151 Mbytes (4MBits) – source Uniterium.Com
  • Limit based on congested schools link to the internet
  • Schools get to access the same shared resources as higher educational establishments such as Cambridge University
  • The network runs over super-high-speed fibre-optic connections to around 50 locations across Suffolk, which act as hubs to provide high-speed connections to schools, libraries and other public sector buildings over fibre-optic, copper and wireless technologies.

Customer Service Direct (CSD) is a joint venture between Suffolk County Council, Mid-Suffolk District Council and BT. It was set up in 2004 to transform and improve Services for Suffolk and manages ICT, HR, Finance and Customer Access for the two councils. Suffolk County Council commissioned CSD to develop the programme.

MLL – specialises in providing fully managed networks to service providers, system integrators and the public sector using the optimum combination of fixed and wireless technologies. MLL Telecom is a licensed UK operator. The company delivers fully managed 24×7 network services and currently manages more than 5000 links nationwide. Customers and channel partners include BT, Vodafone, O2, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, Virgin Media Business, Azzurri, Argus Media, East Sussex County Council, Nottinghamshire Police, North Dorset District Council and Suffolk County Council