Airport giant BAA has signed a three-year deal with virtual network operator Sirocom giving it increased bandwidth and ISP-independent internet access.
BAA needed greater bandwidth and reliability to maintain real-time public services, including online bookings and live flight information for its 200 million passengers a year, as well as to support its business-critical applications.
Nicola Barraclough, BAA's extranet manager, said the deal allowed the authority to avoid the “major risk” of relying on a single ISP. “Should a major issue happen, we should always have access from a business continuity perspective,” she said.
The contract replaces BAA’s previous ISP service from WorldCom, which will continue to be one of the providers through Sirocom.
The deal provides a 100% uptime guarantee with financial penalties if it is not met.
Barraclough said the guarantee was a key factor in Sirocom winning the contract as other bidders had offered service level agreements but with financial penalty clauses that would only be triggered after substantial downtime.
BAA will manage the SLA through Sirocom’s FlexiVision customer management portal and will also be able to monitor Sirocom’s routers.
The contract, which includes annual cost negotiations to take account of rapidly changing prices in the industry, is expected to cut maintenance costs by 60% a year.