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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has announced plans to implement a new fibre and asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) network infrastructure to connect 220 abattoirs around the UK as it seeks to make its monitoring and compliance processes more efficient and effective.
The agency – which is responsible for food safety and hygiene across the UK – is obliged to employ inspectors on site at each abattoir to monitor and report on meat quality and standards. Establishing an enterprise-grade connected environment will help this process become more efficient, productive and secure, it said.
“It is vital for us that we are able to provide a secure communications platform to our team of inspectors who are on the front line of food standards,” said FSA head of IT services Phillippa Tasselli. “A slow, jittery connection that is constantly dropping does not enable a good user experience – it’s just a time-consuming frustration.”
The agency has engaged cloud and network services provider Exponential-e to handle the national implementation, which will also roll out to FSA sites in Belfast, Cardiff, London and York. Exponential-e will also provide a centralised internet service to enhance resiliency, availability and performance as the FSA looks to digitise its operations more widely.
“Working with Exponential-e, we have been able to put in place an architecture that will mean our inspectors can file important documentation in a timely manner that ensures the integrity of the food chain,” said Tasselli.
“While we have implemented this new infrastructure to meet our current needs, the environment in which we operate is pretty fluid. Therefore, what really appealed to us about the Exponential-e team was their expertise in being able to migrate us from one environment to another and the innovation they bring to the table. With their technology, we know we have got a future-proof networking platform that can support our operational requirements and ambitions.”
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Exponential-e’s head of public sector sales, David Lozdan, said: “When your organisation is geographically spread, robust connectivity is a vital strategic asset to underpin effective remote working and access. In these situations, a good end-user experience is key, because people can’t understand why such a simple thing should be so hard.
“The network we have implemented with the FSA is designed to create a better and more productive working environment and provide the stable platform required to meet compliance and regulation timeframes.”