Some 45 km from Lands End, out in the Atlantic, the UK's most isolated unitary authority is benefiting from improved efficiency and cost savings as a result of its relationship with The Phone Co-op.
For over 100 years the Council of the Isles of Scilly has provided a comprehensive range of services equivalent to, or greater than, that of any mainland unitary authority to a community spread across five islands amongst the 200 or so low-lying granite islands and rocky outcrops that make up the Isles.
The Council first installed an integrated voice and data network supplied by The Phone Co-op in 2006 as part of a major project to implement e-government in the islands. The Council has continued to develop the network since then and also sources all its broadband, line rental and outbound call services from us.
The Council has five separate sites and an airport, and services a community spread across five islands - circumstances which meant that the Council had a lot to gain from e-government, but also a number of challenges to overcome. Improving the quality and efficiency of the Council's communications was an early priority.
Dan Marcus, ICT Technical Officer at the Council, explains, "Like many councils, our network of sites had historically developed in an ad hoc fashion and the result was a large number of individual BT lines and no direct links between offices. As a result, we were incurring a considerable cost simply in making internal calls between sites. The new network means that all such calls are free and that we have far greater flexibility in managing our communications."
In choosing The Phone Co-op, the Council issued a tender document and shortlisted three potential suppliers. Our technical solution was judged the most beneficial in terms of price and potential efficiency improvements. Indeed, the Council was able to demonstrate cost savings within six months of installation.
Dan continues, "Initial integration was successful and the system has proved very flexible, growing with us as capacity has changed. Call prices have been consistently competitive and our cost savings have also increased. Our relationship with the account management team means that we can share ideas for further developments and this collaboration has been a factor in ensuring that the system has scaled so well over time".
For more about the Council of the Isles of Scilly visit their website.