Virgin wins £25m PSN network contract extension

A local authority partnership has extended its telecommunications deal with Virgin Media Business by four years for £25 million.

The firm has delivered telecommunications services to the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Partnership (HIOWP) since 2008.

The network was the to comply with the Public Services Network in the UK and as such is available to all public sector organisations in the region -15 local authorities, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, health partners, voluntary sector partners, and the New Forest National Park Authority.

It currently supports more than 2,000 endpoints across the county including 600 schools.

The service includes several all aspects of telecommunications including wide area networking (WAN), fixed and mobile telephony, internet services, local area networking (LAN) and video conferencing.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service installed the Virgin Media WAN solution in 2011 after central government cancelled the £350 million fire control project.

Using the network firefighters are able to download information relating to the fire and its location, including the location of fire hydrants and potential risks in the area while still en route to the area.

This ensures that firefighers and fire control officers are able to deal with any incident in the most efficient way, reducing damage to property and potentially helping to save lives.

After six years, the network now connects over 97% of the schools in Hampshire and 80% of all public services, according to Virgin.

The high speed data network that Virgin offers enables the county to deliver leading edge solutions across the region.

 In extending the agreement HIOWP have also avoided any disruption caused in changing telecommunications partner and removed the necessity for any tendering process.

Gerry Arthurs, public sector director at Virgin Media Business, said: “It’s important the public sector ensure they have the right technology and infrastructure in place to fulfil their needs now and into the future.

“Improving services in the two counties is having a direct effect on how people are living their lives and we’re delighted to continue to work the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Partnership to achieve true connectivity for their citizens.”

Jane Stedman, support, quality and security manager at Hampshire County Council, said the council needs to make sure it continues to leverage the network over the next four years to help reduce costs.

Colin Marrs

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