The Cabinet Office has named 12 suppliers for the government’s Public Services Network (PSN) framework, which will be worth between £500m and £3bn over two years.
The PSN is intended to become a “network of networks” and it is hoped it will save £390m by cutting costs and providing greater flexibility.
The suppliers, which will provide PSN connectivity, include Virgin Media Business, Logicalis, BT, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Level 3, Capita Business Services, Updata Infrastructure UK, Fujitsu, MDNX Enterprise Services, Eircom UK, KCOM Group and Thales UK.
A further framework for PSN services will be named in May, which is expected to include a wider range of providers.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the announcement was a significant step forward in providing the infrastructure to deliver cheaper and more efficient services.
“The PSN will also change the way public sector organisations work and interact, making it possible for government to operate in a much more flexible way, regardless of workers’ usual department or office.
“Work in the 21st century needs to be about what you do, not where you do it, and the longer the public sector lags behind, the more this costs the taxpayer and constrains innovation,” he said.
The announcement followed news that the Ministry of Justice has become the first government department to sign up for the early deployment of a PSN, in a deal with BT that is expected to save the department £8m per year by 2015.