Northern Ireland’s Department of Finance (DoF) has signed BT to provide the infrastructure for the new Public Sector Shared Network (NI PSSN) for the province.
The company has announced a nine-year deal initially valued at £50 million but with the potential to rise to a maximum of £400 million as more services sign up to use the network.
BT will deliver network and unified communication services including new hardware, software and network security for the 11 departments within the Northern Ireland Civil Service and other public sector bodies.
These are expected to be available by September of next year, with a procurement framework for further services also now open.
It provides the potential for a range of new digital services to be developed for the Northern Ireland public sector, taking advantage of faster speeds than provided by the existing Network NI.
The contract is also a significant step in Northern Ireland’s Programme for Government, which emphasises the important of shared services in the public sector.
Paul Wickens, chief executive officer of Enterprise Shared Services, Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS), said: “This advanced network solution will allow us to provide high quality services.
“The new telecommunications infrastructure will replace a wide range of diverse networks. It offers high levels of security and operational stability, providing strong foundations for the new IT system for Northern Ireland’s citizens, who make use of a variety of public sector services.”
Paul Murnaghan, BT Enterprise’s regional director for Northern Ireland, said: "This contract will see us deliver a commercially innovative communications framework, which will provide the building blocks for a future proofed solution to meet the developing needs of public sector users and citizens, and connecting public sector employees, citizens and services in ways that haven’t been possible before.”
Picture: Melanie McMordie, BT Enterprise PSSN business director, Paul Wickens, chief executive - Enterprise Shared Services, NICS, Paul Murnaghan, BT Enterprise regional director NI and Irene Kincaid, PSSN contract manager, NICS