National Grid signs £207m deal for data network

National Grid has signed £207 million worth of deals with Cable & Wireless for a new data network.

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National Grid has signed £207 million worth of deals with Cable & Wireless for a new data network.

Under a 15 year, £108 million contract, the supplier will create and run an optical fibre network, which handles data for core operations, for National Grid. A five year, £99 million contract covers a managed service for the energy company’s telecoms network.

The new network will be set up in such a way that future technology systems can be easily migrated to it, according to the supplier. It is being designed to cope with the data demands needed to control and protect high voltage infrastructure.

Cable&Wireless will provide the relevant telecoms services, as well as a dedicated network management centre on a National Grid site. It will also supply technical support and incident management, and new network and performance management tools including an automated Configuration Management Database.

National Grid wants rapid data re-routing in case any network incidents occur.

David Lister, chief information officer at the company, said it was “absolutely vital” that it used a supplier that could set up and protect critical infrastructure. He added that it was assured of “resilience and security”.

In February, National Grid said an IT, process and finance reorganisation successfully put it on track for cost savings of $100 million (£68 million) this year.