BT helps UK government move towards PSN goal
BT today announced it has signed a Deed of Undertaking (DoU) with the Cabinet Office, enabling it to become a provider of the core network underpinning the Public Sector Network (PSN) programme, a secure “network of networks” specifically for the public sector.
As a result, BT Wholesale becomes a key supplier of open and competitive Government Conveyance Network (GCN) services which will interconnect PSN Direct Network Service Providers (DNSPs), which in turn are supplying government departments and local authorities throughout the UK. In order to supply PSN-compliant networks to its government customer base, BT Global Services, a DNSP major candidate in the UK, will connect to the GCN via BT Wholesale.
GCN will deliver a common secure communications backbone to PSN service providers covering all parts of the Public Sector. The GCN will be one of the enablers for shared services, cloud-based services and datacentre rationalisation, which will deliver benefits to the public sector while reducing cost and complexity. BT’s GCN service will be built on its core UK MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) network, which is already CESG (Communications-Electronics Security Group) accredited, as are many BT network services, to the 2.2.4 standard for security and performance that meets Government requirements for the PSN.
Neil Rogers, president of BT Global Services for government and health, said: “Today’s signature of the DoU underlines BT’s commitment to the PSN, providing a full range of services including the GCN. Drawing on our experience of co-designing PSN we can help public sector organisations achieve both cost and service improvements as well as help them transition to PSN compliance. The PSN also creates a new and competitive market for shared ‘cloud’ services on top of the network, something which presents a real opportunity for BT given our expertise in networked IT services.”
John Stubley, PSN Programme Director, said: The Government recognises the commitment demonstrated by BT in support of PSN and the new ICT Strategy through the signing of this document.”
BT has played a leading role with government in defining and putting in place the technical standards and common services underpinning the Public Sector Network (PSN). The Public Sector Network (PSN) creates an open market, based on common standards, which not only benefits public sector customers, but also allows providers like BT to offer standardised, replicable services – rather than bespoke ones - at a lower cost.
BT expects there to be up to twenty Direct Network Services Providers (DNSPs) in the PSN market. DNSPs will pay GCN service providers for access to the interconnection ‘gateway’ service.
Notes to Editors
The Public Sector Network (PSN) programme is owned and driven by the Cabinet Office, working with industry. PSN is not a single network or a single procurement. It is in effect creating a secure internet specifically for the public sector. To achieve this, the Cabinet Office has been working with industry over the past four years to finalise a set of technical, security and service management standards. By standardising network infrastructure, the Cabinet Office wants to encourage more suppliers into the marketplace and drive down the cost to the public sector. The PSN is a programme that is targeted to deliver up to £500m savings per year.
BT has been engaged in the development of the PSN since its inception in July 2007.
The DoU represents an agreement to bring a fully compliant BT GCN service to market within 12 months of signature. It is anticipated that BT Global Services’ PSN services will be available to major customers during 2011.
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