Students at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form who are studying for qualifications in Information and Communication Technology have visited the BT Customer Experience and Management Centre at Oswestry.

The BT site at Oswestry is responsible for routing the world’s telephone traffic and the protection of 999 calls. This involves what is known as call gapping at times of high traffic volumes such as a national disaster or even on Saturday night’s when people are voting on the X Factor!

Students attended a presentation which outlined of BT and the history of the site.  This was followed by an outline of the telecommunications network, beginning with the line plant in the ground, the transmission and network systems, including the synchronous and plesiochronus digital hierarchy, and the services provided by BT. They were then given a description of telephone traffic patterns, serious incident management, and the twenty first century network.

After the presentation, the students had a chance to see the world’s second largest plasma screen, which is used to display all of the telephone calls going through the network, and the monitoring of BT Vision channels.

ICT tutor Michael Cruise said, “The is the fourth consecutive year that we have visited the Customer Experience and Management Centre at Oswestry and it is always popular with students. Visits such as this allow the students to gain an in-depth understanding of the workings of large company’s IT systems and provides a real-life context to what they have been studying in lessons. This year’s tour went into even greater detail, explaining how BT operates on an International scale, which was both interesting and inspiring for the students.”