Staffordshire County Council is to implement one of the country's first Public Sector Networks (PSN) in a £23m contract with communications provider Kcom.
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The network will connect around 50,000 devices and will be accessed by around 200 council sites and 400 schools. It will also connect all borough and district councils in Staffordshire and South Staffordshire Health authority.
"We are one of the first counties to introduce a PSN, and we're very excited by the efficiencies and improvements the network will enable within Staffordshire - particularly those that support Staffordshire's challenging ambitions for the integration of public services," said Sander Kristel, CIO at Staffordshire County Council.
"Staffordshire has an excellent track record in developing partnerships that enhance the council's IT services. The introduction of a Public Sector Network is the logical next step and a compelling opportunity."
The five-year contract, which can be extended to 10 years, combines wide- and local-area networks, rationalisation of multiple telephony services onto a single IP platform, a new contact centre system, streamlining of mobile phone connectivity and the centralisation of security functions.
Staffordshire council is also consolidating 18 offices into a new county HQ in the centre of Stafford. The network will provide a platform for introducing new, flexible ways of working into the council and its partners, it said.
Discussions are under way to help bring more public sector bodies within Staffordshire onto the network, helping further multiply the benefits of a PSN, said Kcom.