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Angus Council signs up to Scottish Wide Area Network

Angus Council has become the latest local authority in Scotland to sign up to the Scottish Wide Area Network, or Swan, for enhanced public services delivery

The latest local authority to join the Scottish Wide Area Network (Swan) has been revealed as Angus Council.

The council, which is based in Forfar, owns approximately 60 educational and other facilities and serves 108,000 residents. Swan – which is delivered through a framework contract with Capita IT Enterprise services – will deliver it 63 circuits utilising bandwidth of up to 1Gbps.

“Joining Swan is a significant step for the council,” said Mark Armstrong, Angus Council strategic director of resources.

“The new network will lead to a greater level of collaboration and sharing across the public sector. Angus will benefit from that functionally in terms of its ambition to be a digital council by 2020.”

Since the contract was first signed more than two years ago, Swan has connected 3,750 sites and around 4,000 circuits, alongside a core network operations centre (NOC). It also holds Public Service Network (PSN) accreditation, and the ISO27001 security best practice standard.

“The addition of Angus Council to the Scottish Wide Area Network shows that Swan has become a crucial part of Scotland’s national IT infrastructure,” commented Swan managing director Eddie Cronie.

“For Angus Council, the benefits of Swan’s economies of scale means that staff will have access to faster, better networking at a reduced cost,” he added.

Fifty other public sector bodies in Scotland, including both councils and organisations such as Scottish Natural Heritage, are also using the network infrastructure and service sharing agreements, lowering costs and improving connectivity, said Capita.

Ultimately, Capita hopes to connect 4,600 sites to the Swan, encompassing schools, hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacists and local council offices.

The contract was initially led by NHS National Services Scotland, but was delayed after shortlisted bidder BT took legal action over the award to Capita. The case was settled at the end of 2014, although the terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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