Kent County Council awards £24m PSN contract

Kent County Council has awarded a £24.5 million contract to Daisy Updata Communications (DUCL) to provide its public services network (PSN).

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Kent County Council has awarded a £24.5 million contract to Daisy Updata Communications (DUCL) to provide its public services network (PSN).

The firm will deliver wide area network (WAN) services including connectivity to PSN, Janet (the UK’s research and education network) and N3 (the NHS’s national broadband network).

The Kent Public Service Network (KPSN) currently serves over 1,250 sites and 24 organisations with approximately 370,000 people accessing the network every day, although the user base is expected to grow.

During the contract KPSN plans to potentially expand the range of services to include data centres, authentication, integrated voice services, unified communications, mobile working services and BYOD [Bring Your Own Device] services.

Hampshire and Kent were the first councils to set up their own regional PSN networks. Kent signed a deal with Unisys in 2008, which it said would to save £2.4 million and facilitate joint working between public sector bodies across the county.

DUCL will take over from Unisys when its contract with Kent expires in February 2015.

The contract will run for six years with options to extend it up to a total of 10 years. The contract award notice states that three companies submitted bids for the deal.

Kent started the procurement process in April with a tender in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

The notice explained that the council was “looking for a solution to take forward the current services…build upon them, deliver improvements where necessary, expand and extend the range of services offered”.

DUCL is a joint venture between unified business communications firm Daisy Group and network solutions provider Updata, which was acquired by Capita in April this year.

Yesterday Cheshire Constabulary announced that it had signed up to its local PSN - the Cheshire and Merseyside Public Services Network - via a contract with Updata worth £2.28 million.

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