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January 12, 2011

Wessex Water adopts Virgin’s fibre optic network

Five-year plan to simplify handling the company’s 2.7 million customers’ enquiries

By CBR Staff Writer

Wessex Water has adopted the fibre optic network of Virgin Media Business for its call, e-mail and web chat services and the move is expected to benefit 2.7 million customers of the water supply and sewerage utility company.

The Somerset-based utility company said it has developed a five-year plan to handle enquiries and conducts its supply and waste operations through Virgin’s telecom network.

Using the network, Wessex Water said it can now attend to enquiries ranging from emergencies, operational problems, billing questions, water leaks to general advice on water usage by phone, e-mail and a virtual agent using an instant messaging service.

The new network supports all telephone and data links to and from its contact centres in Bath and Nailsea as well as its water and waste water operations across 17 further sites.

"This gives us a platform for customer service and operational improvements for at least the next five years, as we’ve just scratched the surface of what it can do for us," Wessex’s IT service delivery manager Barry Tomson said about the new fibre optic network.

The Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network , which has a main connection into the Virgin Media Business network and a back-up into the BT network, will ensure that phone calls, in particular, are highly protected from faults.

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The UK utility company has more than 1,700 staff using a Cisco call manager system installed by Virgin Media Business to tackle enquiries of customers and colleagues efficiently.

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