BT grabs multi-million contract for BBC’s new base

New business network

BT's division serving small and medium business has scored a contract in Manchester to provide communications for one of the biggest names in media.

Peel Media has awarded a multi-million pound, five year communications and IT contract to BT Business for its MediaCityUK development in Salford, Greater Manchester. The location is set to play home to the BBC when it moves a number of operations to the north.

BT is set to provide the infrastructure using Cisco technology to deliver a high speed network for all the organisations that will be based at the new site, which includes Northwest Vision and Media and The University of Salford.

Bryan Gray, chairman of Peel Media, said in a statement: "This state-of-the-art communications infrastructure will pave the way for MediaCityUK to become one of the most digitally advanced communities in the world."

He added: "Drawing on BT's wealth of technical experience and expertise, we are confident this will lead to an exciting partnership and further innovation within the sector."

The design will include more than 20 million metres of optical fibre cabling to offer a high speed network across the site for voice and data transfer, as well as providing wireless capabilities.

Mike Blackburn, BT's regional director for the North West, said in a statement: "With speeds of up to 10 gigabits available on the new purpose-built network, this partnership will provide one of the most advanced communications infrastructures of its kind, tailored to meet the specialist needs of the local media community, which demand higher bandwidth in order to thrive during this exciting digital era." BT will begin work on building the network later this year. The first phase of the 500 million complex is set to open in 2011.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.