Office products firm Staples has signed a four-year, pan-European networking deal with BT to support 325 offices and stores across seven countries on a single wide area network (WAN) to help cut costs.

BT will be providing Staples with an intelligent IP virtual private network (IP VPN) service, running on the global BT IP Connect platform, across the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

Kevin Milliken, senior vice-president and head of IT at Staples Europe, said: "We chose BT as our primary European supplier because of their reliability, flexibility and ability to offer us a high-bandwidth, cost-effective wide area network, regardless of underlying technology or office location."

In other WAN news Network Rail recently awarded a multi-million pound contract to O2 for the upgrade of its entire Cisco switch and router estate across 450 sites. Under the three-year contract O2 will initially provide support and maintenance services for the existing Cisco infrastructure, and then work on refreshing it as the equipment reaches end-of-life.