The government has announced suppliers that will be eligible to sell network services to public sector bodies via the Public Services Network (PSN) framework.
The 12 suppliers are as follows: Virgin Media Business Limited, Logicalis UK Limited, BT, Cable & Wireless Worldwide, Level 3 (formerly Global Crossing), Capita Business Services Limited, Updata Infrastructure UK Limited, Fujitsu, MDNX Enterprise Services Limited, eircom UK Limited, KCOM Group and Thales UK Limited.
The aim of the PSN scheme is to allow government organisations to procure network services through a common framework. It is due to cost up to £2 billion over the first two years, according to the tender document issued last year. If 80% of public bodies adopt the optional framework, it will save £630 million (plus or minus 50%) per year, the Cabinet Office claims in its business case for the scheme.
"We are confident that the PSN programme will substantially reduce the cost of communication services across government," said Cabinet Office Minsiter Francis Maude. "The PSN will change the way public sector organisations work and interact, making it possible for government to operate in a much more flexible way, regardless of workers’ usual department or office."
Not everyone is convinced of the project’s viability, however. Speaking at the SmartGov conference last year, Chris Pope, executive director resources at London Borough of Newham, said "there is an issue here and that’s whether we believe that PSN will ever be delivered. I personally have my doubts."