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Surrey Council sets out plans for shared network service

Karl Flinders

Surrey County Council has put out a tender for a managed network service that will be shared between public sector organisations within the council as well as neighbouring Berkshire.

The contract titled Unified Communications over Regional Networks (Unicorn) has been put out for tender on the Official Journal of the European Union.

It is asking for bidders that provide integrated network systems and services as well as telecoms suppliers.

The supplier will be tasked with providing services, including managed wide and local area networking and IP voice services, to public sector organisations, provide the ongoing management of contracts within the overall project, as well as technical, commercial, migration, training and support. The service provider will be expected to work alongside staff from the public sector who will provide specialist business and procedural expertise.

Another key objective will be work on a superfast broadband project "to extend the availability of broadband services throughout England and, if required, utilise the services to provide elements of the network," said the tender.

The shared service will be used by organisations such as health services, schools, education, police and fire services, as well as multiple local authorities.

Planned local authorities to be included are Slough Borough Council, West Berkshire Council, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead, Reading Borough Council, Wokingham Borough Council, and Bracknell Forest.

Shared services in the public sector are being hailed by many as the way for public sector organisations to meet their cost-cutting targets without reducing service levels.


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