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Yorkshire Water invests in digital comms network

New digital communications network will reduce service interruptions at utility company's operation sites.

One of the country's largest water and sewage companies has reinforced its operations with an advanced digital network linking its various sites.

Yorkshire Water is hoping its new communications network, which was implemented by ntl:Telewest Business, will eliminate problems with lost connections and enhance security between the company's 130 UK sites that cover an area of more than 6,000 square miles.

"The water industry is a highly competitive market. Carrying all traffic on the same network provides significant cost benefits today," said David Nussey, network technologies team manager at Yorkshire Water.

"It also provides us with the platform for greater innovation in the application of services and the ability to introduce some new services, such as unified communications and broadening the footprint of telemetry systems in the future."

Before the network update, sites were linked to each other in a linear order, so one site going down usually meant it would knock nearby sites offline as well. This daisy chain effect meant problems at major sites could damage operations of at least six other locations. Now that sites are now centrally linked over the network, Yorkshire Water will be able to isolate any problems before they have a chance to disrupt service.

The new network will also provide a foundation for Yorkshire Water - which is the fourth largest water and sewage company in the UK and has more than 700 water and sewerage works and 120 reservoirs - to build on in the future, such as adding unified communications or Wi-Fi connectivity to enhance customer service and flexible working practices.

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