BT wins EU network services contract

BT has won a contract to supply external network services to 15 European Union (EU) institutions, including the European...

BT has won a contract to supply external network services to 15 European Union (EU) institutions, including the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The four- to eight-year contract is valued at €162m (£113m), the London-based network operator said.

BT will provide a variety of secure IP (Internet protocol) network services including wide area networks (Wans), remote access, telecommuting, internet fallback and network consultancy, according to BT spokesman Alan Ball.

"There is room for growth within the contract to provide a wider scope of services in the future, including voice-over-IP," Ball said.

Currently, worldwide access to and from remote sites of the commission, Parliament and European Council comes through different types of circuits, including leased lines, satellite links and virtual circuits, according to the EU Directorate-General for Informatics (DIGIT), the department that tendered the contract. That framework will be replaced in a migration period expected to last at least 18 months, DIGIT said.

Terms of the initial four year contract, signed 24 September, allow it to be extended by an additional four years, subject to reviews every two years. BT and DIGIT declined to name the other companies that participated in the contract tender process launched last year.

"We provided the original contract to the EU, so in a sense, this is a renewal of that contract but with a larger mandate," Ball said.

In terms of volume, over eight years the Wan services are expected to have 370 service objects with 1,040 operations, the remote access services will require 256,000 hours of consumption for different user profiles, and up to 2,800 individual teleworking service sites will be required, DIGIT said. BT estimates that it will subcontract 48% of the work, according to DIGIT.

In addition to the commission, Parliament and Council, several other EU institutions will be services under the contract: the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products, the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union, the European Food Safety Authority, the European Maritime Safety Agency, the European Aviation Safety Agency and the European Agency for Reconstruction.

Laura Rohde writes for IDG News Service

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