Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service has gone live with a new voice and data network across all its fire stations and offices as part of its transition into the county's Public Services Network (PSN).

The PSN is designed to improve CFRS's collaboration with its public sector partners and the installation of a Wide Area Network (WAN) will allow file transfer times 60 times faster than on its old network.

Tim Bevington, Head of Planning, Performance and Communications at CFRS said: "We place great emphasis on collaboration with our public sector partners and want to ensure that our network can support this going forward.  

"Updata's track record in building 'PSN ready' networks, together with its network solution both in terms of cost and flexibility, contributed to its proposition being the best fit for our requirements." 

The new network has been provided by Updata, one of the first communication providers in the UK to be formally certified as a Direct Network Service Provider (DNSP) by the Cabinet Office, and ensures CFRS can connect with other public sector stakeholders in the county and beyond to take advantage of services offered through the Government's Cloud Store programme.

Previously, the Fire and Rescue Service suffered regular network outages and poor resilience, which Bevington said "never affected emergency response units" but did cause "significant delays and often resulted in staff resorting to manual processes". 

The new cloud-based Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) network will ensure a highly resilient infrastructure with significantly faster network speeds, up to 10 times faster than before.  Updata also provide a 24 hour support and monitoring service to ensure that network links between head office and the fire stations and other sites are always maintained.

Graham Foster, Head of ICT at the Service added: "The new Updata network solution is a significant milestone for our organisation, as it not only gives us peace of mind that we now have a reliable and resilient network infrastructure, but it also enables us to  add  bandwidth  as required for future IT projects."

Posted 12/11/2012 by