Virgin Media signs fibre optic deal with Cabinet Office

Virgin Media Business has announced today that it is to provide its fibre-optic network to the UK government as part of the Public Sector Network (PSN), after it signed a Deed of Undertaking with the Cabinet Office.

The PSN programme is designed to cut network spending to support the target set by the government to reduce the budget by 19 percent by 2014. It provides voice and data technology, along with other IT services, to public sector organisations at low prices.

As part of the deal Virgin will launch its Government Conveyance Network, which will be part of the wider PSN. Virgin has been working on securing this deal for the last two years, having created a dedicated PSN unit, and is set to continue its efforts in this area well into 2011 and beyond.

Virgin already has a large presence within the public sector, having served it over the past 16 years. It provides services for over 30,000 public sector sites and over 60 percent of healthcare and emergency services, including collaborative network projects as part of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership and the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation, which is likely to a contributing factor to the Cabinet Office’s decision to work with it on the PSN.

While Virgin has not made it clear, we expect that another major factor in securing the deal was a potential significant discount on its standard business prices, since lower costs is a basic tenet of the PSN project.

“Virgin Media Business has now become the second partner to sign a Deed of Undertaking to provide a fully compliant network ‘interconnection’ – the electronic highway that will span and connect the PSN,” said John Stubley, programme director of the PSN.