Virgin’s PSN will allow greater collaboration across public sector

Virgin Media Business has secured its position as a first class government supplier with the extension of its Public Services Network (PSN) security accreditation across a wider range of products. After being the first UK company to earn the PSN accreditation in 2011, this third accreditation cements Virgin Media Business’ commitment to PSN and extends what it can offer local authorities through the certification of its ADSL2+, Ethernet Access Direct, Metro Ethernet VPN, and Dedicated High Capacity Services to CAS(T)224.

Future audits scheduled include National High Capacity Services and Ethernet offnet access.

The accreditation of ADSL2+ means public sector organisations will be able to use a secure ‘always on’ broadband connection to the internet and internet services. And collaboration will become a whole lot easier with the Ethernet VPN which will allow local authorities to transfer voice, data and video securely. Meanwhile, for the really big data transfers, High Capacity Services will let organisations share information quickly and seamlessly, so the next time vital information needs to be shared, there’ll be no delays in passing it between departments.

Jessica Hawkins, public sector technology analyst at Ovum said: “As the wider public sector joins PSN, there will be opportunities for extensive collaboration across local and regional government. 

“We believe that the greatest collaborative momentum on the PSN programme will be seen as public services come together (for example, health, police, and education with the local authority) to aggregate their requirements or to find ways to work together more efficiently. At that stage, we will see the approach to PSN move from “procure and comply” to Government’s objective of “connect and exploit.”

The PSN aims to deliver cost effective ICT services and encourage greater collaboration across the public sector. Virgin Media Business has been championing PSN through a number of projects, such as its work across Yorkshire and Humberside, which was one of the first PSN projects to launch in the country. The project has so far connected up to 52 organisations in the region, helping deliver better services to 5.5 million people. By giving organisations the access to the same technology, purchasing costs have been spread more widely and information shared more freely between local public service providers.

Robert Parker, director, public sector, Virgin Media Business, said: “With the Cabinet Office pressing organisations to use a cloud first policy, suppliers need to provide reassurance that their services meet the best security standards to provide PSN services and protect data.

“We believe the PSN model enables councils to meet their strict budget targets. Now that more of our product range has received accreditation, public sector organisations will be able to take advantage of the technology that’s already available in the private sector, enabling them to deliver slicker services whilst helping to watch the pennies.

“Already our experience with PSN models has allowed us to help the likes of Cambridgeshire and Hampshire county councils to deliver secure effective services whilst getting the maximum out of their budgets. With our long-standing track record of working with the public sector, we look forward to implementing new innovative projects with organisations across the country.”

Virgin Media Business’ national fibre optic network is perfectly positioned geographically for local councils and government agencies to access. This means that public sector organisations can easily connect with its network to improve productivity and enhance services through PSN.

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