BT is taking over the management and further development of the Scottish Wide Area Network for public services.
It has been awarded the six-year framework contract, valued at up to £350 million, by the Common Services Agency – otherwise known as NHS National Services Scotland – to provide the network and related services.
The company has taken over from the incumbent Capita, which won the initial contract for SWAN in 2014 and whose agreement has expired at the end of March.
According to the newly published contract award notice, the company will be responsible for the future wide area network requirements of participating authorities and additional services such as the provision of local area networks, voice and internet of things services.
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care, Michael Matheson said: “This major investment from the Scottish Government, and our public sector partners, will make sure that staff across our public services have access to rapid and reliable connections with a greater capacity and bandwidth.
“The SWAN programme will drive benefits for communities across Scotland, making sure that no one is left behind and can access the benefits of technology.”
Cost-effective and innovative
Alan Lees, director business, BT in Scotland, commented: “This contract will see us deliver a cost-effective and innovative communications framework, which will benefit public sector employees, citizens and services in ways that we have not seen before.
“We have access to the largest next generation networks. Our mobile network EE was the first to launch 5G in Scotland and EE now has by far the highest levels of 4G coverage across Scotland’s landmass at 75%, which is 8% higher than our nearest competitor. We’re able to help the public sector to do things that they never imagined possible before, supporting our shared ambition of ‘Connecting Scotland for Good.’”
Mary Morgan, chief executive of NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), said: “This is a significant milestone for NSS, and for the many partner organisations across the public sector who depend upon SWAN, including NHS Scotland.
“Swift and secure connectivity is at the heart of modern future facing public services. Robust digital infrastructure is key to successful innovation and service improvements that will benefit citizens, families and communities.”
SWAN is currently used by over 90 public sector organisations for over 6,000 sites in Scotland.