Agile nation pioneers borderless
UK, 17th March
2010 – Wales, a constituent nation of the United Kingdom
with a population of 3m people, is on course to become the first
country in the world to achieve the Cisco vision of a completely
borderless network embracing all of its public services.
Through its ambitious project entitled Public Sector Broadband
Aggregation (PSBA), Wales is using Cisco technology to create a
single unified national broadband network that enables public
service agencies to collaborate at will.
To date it covers all of Wales’ hospitals, doctors’ surgeries,
local government offices, universities and further education
Already public sector staff at more than 2,000 sites are
connected to the network and the figure is expected to rise to
10,000 over the next few years as other services such as schools,
police, fire and ambulance are linked in.
Eventually all 350,000 public sector workers in Wales –
including several thousand home-based staff – will be able to
access the network to aid inter-agency collaboration, reduce cost
and increase the efficiency of public services.
The PSBA is being created by Logicalis over a seven-year time
span, using Cisco technology to create the necessary connections.
This pioneering national information and communications platform
enables the delivery of voice, video and data services across a
fast, secure and reliable infrastructure. It is based on a
high-capacity optical core network, which was funded by the Welsh
Assembly Government and partners in the health, education and local
government sectors. It is running at 2.5 Gbps.
The emerging PSBA network was used in 2009 to create a secure
system for information sharing between agencies in health and local
government in preparation for the expected global swine flu
pandemic. The system was created within days at minimal cost
whereas previously such a resource would have taken many months to
configure and, in the view of the Welsh Assembly Government, may
have been prohibitively expensive.
More recently a countryside protection agency within the Welsh
public sector has achieved annual savings of £100,000 on secure
connections between 14 sites dispersed across remote locations.
Universities in particular are using the borderless network
opportunity to increase international collaboration which requires
secure high-speed connectivity, and to expand the availability of
remote-learning. The system is also supporting the growth of
telemedicine across Wales.
In addition Wales sees the growing PSBA network as a catalyst
for increased economic activity, encouraging inward investment and
indigenous business growth.
In the wake of the recession, which has placed huge pressures on
public sector budgets, the borderless network approach has provided
Wales with the opportunity to achieve greater efficiencies through
collaboration while maintaining the quality and level of