Surrey council extends communications network contract with BT

Written by Rebecca Hill on 28 November 2016 in News
News

The contract for BT’s network for integrated voice and data communications across Surrey and Berkshire has been extended until 2021, as Surrey County Council claims it is on track to save £3.5m.

Surrey has extended BT's contract by two years - Photo credit: PA

The public services network, dubbed Unicorn, for Unified Communities over Regional Networks, is run by BT for 25 public sector bodies, including Surrey County Council, the 11 district and borough councils, as well as health, schools and fire services in the region.

It aims to help the group tackle budgeting, resourcing, and increased demand for services as a group and offer savings to all those signed by allowing them to pick from a catalogue of services – such as managed local area networks, mobility services and managed WiFi – through the same platform.

A seven year deal was signed in 2012, and this has now been extended to run until 2021, after the project was deemed to be running to plan.


Related content

The long run-in: Changing culture, IT and services in East Sussex and Surrey
Do councils have the IT it takes to make the most of devolution?


Denise Le Gal, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for business services, said: “With rising demand for services like adult social care meaning money’s really tight, we need to do everything we can to make taxpayers’ money go further - and this deal is on track to save £3.5m over its seven years. That is why we have extended the contract by two years.”

Meanwhile, Central Surry Health is also expecting to make savings, with its director of IT Mike Davies saying that the organisation had seen a 25% cost saving compared with its previous network.

The public services network was recently connected its 500th site, a number that includes more than 40 libraries in Surrey, and BT’s managing director for public sector Colm O’Neill claimed the additional site and the contract extension as a “vote of confidence” in the service.

“What we are seeing with Unicorn makes a strong case for a collaborative approach to procurement and lays the foundation for much closer public service integration that will help public sector budgets go further,” he said.

Share this page

Tags

Add new comment

Related Articles

Councils could save £500m a year through common platform components, says GDS
6 March 2017

Individual councils could save up to £80m on IT spend alone over the next decade by adopting common platforms like GOV.UK Verify, according to government estimates. 

Public safety ‘imperilled’ by lack of interoperable police ICT network
24 April 2017

2016 State of Policing report calls for a single decision-making mechanism for ICT to bring forces into the...

Scottish digital strategy set out plans for assurance, training and common platforms
22 March 2017

The Scottish government will implement a “tough” assurance process for digital projects, mandate the use of common technologies and offer training to make sure civil servants “get digital”.

Related Sponsored Articles

UK SMEs showcase projects in competition final to help millions of businesses and citizens stay safe from online crime
19 April 2017

BT, TechHub and the Cabinet Office have announced the winners of their Securing the Nation competition at an event at the iconic BT Tower

BT appoints senior executive to lead public sector business in London and the South East
5 April 2017

BT has appointed a new senior executive, Mark Sexton, to head up its public sector business in London and the South East and implement a new strategic direction to increase its local presence

BT appoints senior executive to lead Public Sector business in Scotland
27 March 2017

BT has appointed a new senior executive, David Wallace, to head up its public sector business in Scotland and implement a new strategic direction to increase local focus nationwide