Virgin Media Business has delivered telecommunications services to the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Partnership (HIOWP) since 2008. The successful relationship has now been extended for a further four years at a cost of £25 million.
The network was the first PSN compliant network in the UK and as such is available to any public sector in the region. It currently supports over 2000 endpoints across the county including 600 schools. Currently 19 organisations, including 15 local authorities across the region take advantage of the services that Virgin Media Business offer, the remaining four are Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, health partners, voluntary sector partners, and the New Forest National Park Authority.
The service comprises several aspects of telecommunications including wide area networking (WAN), fixed and mobile telephony, internet services, local area networking (LAN) and video conferencing. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service installed the Virgin Media WAN solution in 2011 after central government cancelled the £350 million fire control project. Using the network, firefighters are able to download information relating to the fire and its location, including the location of fire hydrants and potential risks in the area while still en route to the area. This ensures that firefighters and fire control officers are able to deal with any incident in the most efficient way, reducing damage to property and potentially helping to save lives.
After six years the network now connects over 97 per cent of the schools in Hampshire and 80 per cent of all public services. The high speed data network that Virgin offers enables the county to deliver leading edge solutions across the region. In extending the agreement HIOWP have also avoided any disruption caused in changing telecommunications partner and removed the necessity for any tendering process.
Gerry Arthurs, Director, Public Sector, Virgin Media Business commented, “It’s important the public sector ensure they have the right technology and infrastructure in place to fulfill their needs now and into the future.
“Improving services in the two counties is having a direct effect on how people are living their lives and we’re delighted to continue to work the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Partnership to achieve true connectivity for their citizens.”
Hampshire County Council need to make sure that they continue to leverage the network over the next four years. Jane Stedman, Support, Quality and Security Manager at Hampshire County Council echoes this in saying “Now more than ever, we need to ensure that we make the best use of the technology available to reduce costs and sustain quality services. Working in partnership with Virgin Media Business, we will continue to meet future challenges for improving services, while maximising efficiency and savings.”