Virgin Media Business has announced a deal to deliver a public services network (PSN) to local authorities in Yorkshire and Humberside in one of the first deals announced under the government's PSN connectivity framework.
The network will connect 52 public service providers onto a single network, including health, police and local authorities to boost information sharing and allow the authorities to reduce costs by purchasing software and services together.
It also means all authorities are using a common platform for staff, regardless of where they are working. It will also enable bodies with smaller budgets can benefits from the larger purchasing power of bigger departments.
"With limited funds it's essential that public sector organisations are getting the most out of their resources. Now organisations in Yorkshire and Humberside will be able to streamline their network infrastructure with a single access point for all PSN services," said Jeff Wollen, executive director of public sector at Virgin Media Business.
"Partners in the region can benefit from PSN services no matter what size they are, meaning they can provide more effective services to their citizens."
In total 5.5 million Britons in the two regions are expected to benefit from the deal.
Geoff Prowling, Yorkshire and Humberside PSN (YHPSN) programme director, told V3 that the PSN deal would offer numerous benefits and local authorities are now in the process of working with Virgin Media Business to gain access to the nework.
"The concept behind the PSN is about standardisation, rationalisation and consolidation of all infrastructure that local public services have to deliver over a single common platform," he said.
"This will enable shared common services around areas like the datacentre or major business applications. For example, we can provide access to the N3 health service system from any relevant authority without having to buy further connections."
Currently Leeds City Council is one of the first authorities working on its PSN compliance with Virgin to ensure it meets the relevant standards and codes of conduct, Prowling added.
The deal is another notable win for Virgin Media Business which as well as being one of the 12 approved PSN suppliers listed by government is also overseeing the London-wide public sector network for the London Grid for Learning (LGfL).
Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal.