BT's Network Management Centre in Oswestry ensured BBC's Children in Need night ran as smoothly as possible
The centre, which employs people from around the UK, ensures the smooth running of phone lines and communications networks 24-hours-a-day - and especially during telethons like Children in Need.
It was a busy weekend for the centre with the Children in Need telethon on November 17, followed by the latest rounds of Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor. Paul Price, a technical operative at BT’s network centre, said: "Once again we were ready for an extra 200,000 calls across our network during Children in Need. As usual our main objective was to ensure all calls got through to Children in Need, without compromising service to other customers around the country. BT’s technology ensures the calls are distributed evenly across all of the Children in Need answering centres, so as many people as possible can get through to make their donation during the course of the evening. As usual there were extra people on duty at our network centre here in Oswestry, who constantly monitor the level of calls across our network. Whilst most of what we do is computer-based, we also keep a watchful eye on the programme itself, because there are often very sad interviews and emotive appeals during the show that always trigger a sudden increase in calls from the general public – so we need to be ready.”
BT has supported the BBC Children in Need charity since it formed in 1980 by providing the telephone network management and call centres to help raise money for disadvantaged children and young people. In addition to the Network Management Centre's 'eyes and ears' technical role, BT also provided five call centres on the night in Glasgow, Leicester, Lincoln, Newcastle, and Warrington, with hundreds of BT volunteers taking part.