According to the council, the seven year contract will replace up to 40 separate networks in Surrey and Berkshire with a single PSN – a programme that unifies the provision of network infrastructure in order to increase efficiency and reduce public expenditure.
Denise Le Gal, Surrey’s cabinet member for change and efficiency, said: “Our aim is to provide the highest quality services at the very best value for money, and developing a cloud platform as part of a single public services network is the latest example of our willingness to embrace new ideas.
“We firmly believe public services should be seen as a single team co-operating to make taxpayers’ money go further… this deal with BT will save the county council up to £5.25m.”
The council expects savings of up to 20% on its current arrangements if Surrey’s borough and district councils and Berkshire’s councils, fire and rescue service, health services and a university join in.
When the network – known as Unicorn – is established, Surrey wants to expand it to include libraries and schools. Emergency services and voluntary groups will also have the option of joining.
Surrey has also signed a £33m deal with BT to provide broadband connectivity to businesses and homes across the county. Peter Martin, the deputy leader of Surrey council, said the deal could boost the county’s economy by about £28m a year.
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