The Empire cinema chain has deployed a new wide area network to improve internet bandwidth, ticketing and other transaction services.

The new WAN has been built by provider Exponential-e and supports 16 business locations across the UK. The five-year managed network deal provides high-speed internet running at up to 100mbps, a virtualised firewall to protect against malicious web traffic, and remote working capabilities for all sites.

The connection runs over Exponential-e's 100 Gigabit Ethernet Layer 2 national network, and allows Empire Cinemas to run business critical applications such as email, chip and pin financial transactions and its ticketing system from all of its UK sites.

Exponential-e has also implemented a virtual private LAN service (VPLS) link that connects each UK business location directly to a separate data centre. This means that if there is an outage at Empire Cinema's Leicester Square headquarters, all its sites across the UK can continue to process financial transactions and online ticket sales as normal.

To further protect against potential network downtime a DSL-based termination line has also been installed on the network that enables Exponential-e to remotely monitor it for system failures around the clock and pro-actively correct any problems quickly.

Manjeet Sehmi, IT manager at Empire Cinemas, said: "With the majority of our business processes now conducted online it's essential that we are able to operate 24/7 without the risk of system outages, which, unfortunately, have become a regular occurrence over the last few years."