Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (TMBC) is using a public sector network-ready wide area network that is available to other Greater Manchester councils.

TMBC procured the WAN via a framework for connectivity contract developed by Rochdale Borough Council in February 2012, and which is available to the other ten members of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA).

The new network is already providing improved connectivity for around 100 Tameside corporate sites, including library buildings and council offices, and supports the council's overall commitment to local regeneration and support of local businesses, said Tameside.

The network's high availability and flexibility will also provide improved broadband access for schools that choose to connect via the council's PSN WAN.

A PSN network is designed to make it easier for different local authority organisations to connect with each other to share bandwidth, applications and data.

Julie Hayes, head of ICT at Tameside Council, said: "The network from provider Updata is a very flexible offering and works to our specific requirements. By procuring through the AGMA framework we were able to avoid the costly and time intensive procurement and tender process, and could ensure that we chose the most cost effective and flexible WAN solution."

Earlier this year Yorkshire and Humberside councils were encouraged to take advantage of a PSN championed by Leeds City Council, with the technology provided by Virgin Media.