Pennine Telecom Dials Up £50,000 Extension to £1m College Contract

Pennine Telecom has secured a £50,000 contract extension having successfully completed a £1m project at Bolton College’s new state-of-the-art Deane Road Campus.

The Bury-based data and telecommunications specialist is set to extend a wireless network to cover the purpose-built construction centre which lies adjacent to the main college building. This will comprise over 50 Meru wireless access points and two energy efficient Extreme network switches.

“The extension will ensure we enjoy full broadband wireless coverage across the whole site, providing wi-fi access to staff, management, students and guests” explained Bolton College’s IT Operations Manager Railton Knott. “One benefit will be that staff using wireless telephone handsets won’t drop calls when walking across to the construction centre.”

The new network will complement existing telecom, network and wireless infrastructures installed by Pennine in time for the opening of the £70m, 20,201 sq. metre campus last September. These host an Avaya unified communications system which brings together email, instant messaging, telephony services, and video conferencing. Hundreds of ‘soft phones’ enable staff to make and receive calls using their laptops anywhere on site through wired or Bluetooth headsets.

Mr. Knott says the contract extension demonstrates the College’s satisfaction with the way Pennine handled the core project. “This was a massive new build scheme which demanded not just high level expertise but great flexibility from Pennine. They ended up coming on site quite late in the day but managed to get us up and working in a lot less time than we originally anticipated. It was incredible really.”

As well as installing the eco-friendly Extreme Networks infrastructure, Meru wireless network and Avaya ACM unified communications telephone system, Pennine also provided training for over 100 end user and administrative staff to

The project marked a successful return to college for Pennine’s managing director who studied for a City & Guilds certificate in Radio and Television servicing at Bolton in the 1970s. The college then set up an interview for him at Pennine for a job repairing radios. He secured successive promotions before joining the board and heading a management buy-out of the business in 2003.

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