Surrey council extends communications network contract with BT

Written by Rebecca Hill on 28 November 2016 in News
News

The contract for BT’s network for integrated voice and data communications across Surrey and Berkshire has been extended until 2021, as Surrey County Council claims it is on track to save £3.5m.

Surrey has extended BT's contract by two years - Photo credit: PA

The public services network, dubbed Unicorn, for Unified Communities over Regional Networks, is run by BT for 25 public sector bodies, including Surrey County Council, the 11 district and borough councils, as well as health, schools and fire services in the region.

It aims to help the group tackle budgeting, resourcing, and increased demand for services as a group and offer savings to all those signed by allowing them to pick from a catalogue of services – such as managed local area networks, mobility services and managed WiFi – through the same platform.

A seven year deal was signed in 2012, and this has now been extended to run until 2021, after the project was deemed to be running to plan.


Related content

The long run-in: Changing culture, IT and services in East Sussex and Surrey
Do councils have the IT it takes to make the most of devolution?


Denise Le Gal, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for business services, said: “With rising demand for services like adult social care meaning money’s really tight, we need to do everything we can to make taxpayers’ money go further - and this deal is on track to save £3.5m over its seven years. That is why we have extended the contract by two years.”

Meanwhile, Central Surry Health is also expecting to make savings, with its director of IT Mike Davies saying that the organisation had seen a 25% cost saving compared with its previous network.

The public services network was recently connected its 500th site, a number that includes more than 40 libraries in Surrey, and BT’s managing director for public sector Colm O’Neill claimed the additional site and the contract extension as a “vote of confidence” in the service.

“What we are seeing with Unicorn makes a strong case for a collaborative approach to procurement and lays the foundation for much closer public service integration that will help public sector budgets go further,” he said.

Share this page

Tags

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Related Articles

Can the GDS innovation strategy deliver a lasting legacy for government?
14 August 2019

Government's new Innovation Strategy set out ambitious proposals to update processes, eliminate ageing kit, and embrace emerging technologies. PublicTechnology caught up with...

One in four Scots unwilling to use digital means for health consultations
6 September 2019

Although most Scottish citizens believe IoT and smart technology will improve healthcare delivery, many do not want to use bots, conferencing, or web chat

Tech firms should join a coalition of the willing to support interoperability for police IT
30 August 2019

Jessica Russell of techUK believes increased collaboration between the emergency services and technology partners could deliver improved public-safety outcomes

Apps, automation and allotments
28 August 2019

Durham County Council's head of digital Alan Patrickson lifts the lid on the authority’s citizen-focused five-year transformation journey

Related Sponsored Articles

The age of virtualisation
17 September 2019

After more than 20 years of stability, networks are going through a period of dramatic transformation. BT looks beyond the hype at the real benefits of virtualisation.

Digital Transformation: Connecting and protecting with perfect predictability
10 September 2019

How can you stay ahead in the fast-paced world of digital technology? BT describes how it's a matter of focus... 

How to stay ahead of a changing threat landscape
3 September 2019

The security threat landscape is confusing and changing rapidly – there’s so much out there, how do you understand where the true risks are? BT offers insight from their own experience

The cyber security skills challenge: Hiring for tomorrow
27 August 2019

Organisations must alter their approach to cyber security recruitment in order to combat the global shortage of security professionals, writes BT