The Council will save £600,000 per annum through improved connectivity

Fife has gone to Updata Infrastructure to provide managed connectivity services to its network of around 500 schools, corporate and remote office sites. 

The council says the four year deal offers improved connectivity speeds to council sites and will reduce its connectivity bill by over 40 percent, saving around £600,000 per annum.

The contracted service will also help the council achieve its aim of increasing flexible working through more home-based and mobile workers by way of better connectivity.

The network will also support the council's rationalisation programme, which is expected to see the number of council offices reduce by nearly half during the contract period. The network is planned for completion by September 2013.

Fife said Updata’s experience of designing, deploying and managing wide area networks to accredited Public Services Network (PSN) standards is expected to play a major part in Fife's planned transition to the Scottish Wide-Area network (SWAN) programme when it goes live. This is the Scottish government's equivalent to the PSN initiative from the UK government.

Updata plans to integrate its own service delivery team with Fife Council’s ICT team to achieve further cost savings and help the council maintain its existing skills base.

Charlie Anderson, head of ICT at Fife Council, said, "The Updata solution supports our commitment to reducing operational costs and providing better ICT facilities for schools and council employees across the region."

Updata is currently working with Buckinghamshire County Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and Walsall Metropolitan Council to support the drive towards PSN-ready networks.

The three fire and rescue services that form South West Fire & Rescue Services (FRS) have joined forces to speed up emergency response times and make it easier to share resources with a new PSN network. 

Over the next few months Dorset, Wiltshire, and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) will roll-out a brand new PSN-compliant wide area network, giving 4,860 staff and 188 fire stations access to quicker data transfer and digital telephone services.