Press coverage highlights from story:
- Government Computing, Increase in WAN costs prompts East Lothian council networking rethink
- ComputerWorldUK, East Lothian saves on WAN
- Computer Weekly, East Lothian shaves £175,000 off network costs
East Lothian Council has chosen Updata Infrastructure Ltd (Updata), to provide core network connectivity to both school and council corporate sites. The Wide Area Network (WAN) infrastructure, built and managed by Updata, will support the Council’s plans for transition to an accredited Public Services Network (PSN), as well as delivering significant savings on network running costs of over 40 per cent in the first twelve months. The network will also enable the Council to accelerate the roll out of home working initiatives for employees, which form part of its wider commitment to reduce operational costs and on-site overheads.
Until now, East Lothian had worked with BT for WAN services, but was motivated to search the market for an alternative provider, due to significant cost increases of 30 per cent over the previous five years and a perceived lack of flexibility and resilience going forward. Following a tender in November 2011, Updata was selected to initially provide a single network to connect the region’s 45 schools, due to go-live by August 2012. Later in 2012, a second dedicated network will be introduced into the infrastructure for 75 corporate council sites, including library buildings & council offices, which will meet the GSX Government Code of Connection (CoCo) compliance and security requirements.
The MPLS based, PSN ready network will feature a high capacity core fibre ring connecting six BT exchanges and connection speeds will range between a minimum of 10Mbps up to 100Mbps. Sites will be connected utilising a full portfolio of options including Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM), Fibre and, when available, Next Generation Access.
The Updata solution will provide a greater degree of resilience and increased uptime to the existing school network, which previously suffered from outages by, for example, failure of one school on the network affecting others. Updata’s scalable connectivity solution was favoured because it offers East Lothian Council both the reliability and dedicated security required to support separate networks for schools and council corporate sites. It also provides the Council with a more cost effective platform to enable its ‘Work Smart’ rationalisation project, a cost saving initiative aimed at supporting home working and reducing on-site overheads. Previously, high charges were incurred when network links needed to be re-routed or shut down because of changes in the Council’s operational structure.
Alan Cruikshank, IT Services Manager at East Lothian Council, commented: “Updata has provided us with exceptional cost savings on our network provision, whilst giving us the high level of reliability required. Its flexibility and innovation has opened up the scope for future transition to a PSN network as well as collaboration with East Lothian health authorities and other public sector bodies.”
“We have been impressed with the company’s professional approach and high level of technical expertise. The project is already running ahead of schedule, with the schools planned to join the network by the end of August 2012 and the council corporate sites will follow on later this year.”
Vic Baldorino, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Updata Infrastructure Ltd commented: “We are pleased that we can provide East Lothian Council with a more resilient network. We have worked closely with East Lothian Council to ensure that the two networks will run separately on our infrastructure to guarantee adherence to GSX Government Code of Connection (CoCo) compliance requirements for the corporate sites’ network. Updata has a real commitment to the public sector and this contract demonstrates that we offer a more flexible and cost effective approach and is testament to the investment Updata has made in the Scottish market.