Daisy Updata Communications Ltd (DUCL) has been awarded a six-year contract to manage a shared network for public services in Kent.
DUCL will manage a wide area network (WAN) connecting more than 1,350 establishments across Kent. The Kent Public Service Network (KPSN) provides broadband and internet connectivity to an estimated 370,000 users in fire stations, schools, local government offices, universities, colleges, libraries, health and other public sector locations.
As part of the new contract, DUCL will aim for further improvements in service efficiency, including faster internet and connectivity speeds and a reduction in costs for KPSN partner organisations.
The contract was awarded following a competitive tender by Kent County Council, acting on behalf of the partners and users of the KPSN.
The KPSN was created in 2008 and is a partnership of Kent's local authorities and other public sector organisations, working together to improve access to faster and lower cost network connectivity services within the region and to facilitate shared service delivery.
Kent County Council cabinet member for corporate and democratic services Gary Cooke said: "The KPSN has been hugely successful in improving Kent’s communications. The partnership has enabled multiple networks within the region to combine into a single network, not only reducing costs but facilitating shared services.
"Together with DUCL, we will build on this success reaffirming KPSN's position as the network of choice for all public sector organisations in Kent."
DUCL is a joint venture between Updata Infrastructure Ltd, a leading communications integrator to the public sector and part of Capita IT Services, and Daisy Group plc, an experienced supplier of unified business communications services.
Arthur Gormley, managing director at Updata Infrastructure Ltd, said: "Kent County Council has long been regarded as a pioneer in the adoption of joined up government and partnership approaches to service delivery.
"We have worked closely with the council and KPSN partners to plan the enhanced network infrastructure required to realise its vision. By building on current success, the new network will support Kent County Council’s ambitions for the next phase of KPSN."
Matthew Riley, chief executive officer at Daisy Group plc, said: "With the rise of cloud-based technologies in the workplace, reliable, superfast connectivity such as this is highly sought after. Organisations across the county will feel the benefits of the increased capabilities available from this new networking infrastructure.
"We are delighted to be working with the KPSN and supporting the good work that it continues to do within Kent’s public sector telecoms space. Kent County Council and the KPSN partners are setting a great example for other regions. This new approach to ICT procurement will play a massive part in the Government’s goal of reducing costs whilst enhancing efficiency."