Public Services > Central Government

Public Services Network tests now complete

Mark Say Published 12 August 2011

Public Services Network tests now complete

Vendors, counties and Cabinet Office team complete Project Pathway

A group of suppliers and county councils, along with a team from the Cabinet Office, have completed a series of tests that mark a further step towards the implementation of the Public Services Network (PSN).

 

Virgin Media Business and Global Crossing, along with Hampshire and Kent county councils, have wrapped up Project Pathway, one of the milestones in the programme to create a "network of networks" for public services.

 

Robert Parker, head of public sector for Virgin Media Business, told GGC that the testing covered three areas. One was infrastructure, dealing with interconnections between the Hampshire and Kent Public Service Networks, which are managed by Virgin and Global Crossing respectively. It also covered the systems and support elements for the service.

 

The second was for the "onboarding process" for customers within the individual networks to use services employed by another: for example, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service sharing its Kent counterpart's video platform, and Kent using Hampshire's telephony system.

 

"These were tests for the procedural competence to allow subsequent service providers to onboard their service platforms," Parker said. "It shows that we can provide the whole service platform using the PSN."

 

Thirdly came tests for standards in areas such as security, service management and interoperability.

 

The project led to some changes in the standards and accreditation process involved in PSN. It also led to the two companies achieving full accreditation and compliance certification.

 

Virgin said the completion of Project Pathway should encourage other public sector organisations to take up PSN services.

 

John Stubley, PSN programme director in the Cabinet Office, said: "Pathway marks a significant and tangible step towards more efficient and joined up public services; it shows that PSN is no longer a theory but a reality."

 

The news follows shortly after the launch of the first tender for PSN services, covering telecommunications connectivity.

 

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