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Parliament Plans Major ICT Upgrade

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The Houses of Parliament are to get a new wired and wireless communications system worth more than £3m

The ICT body serving the Houses of Parliament has opened bidding for an overhaul of the communications system that serves MPs, staff and visitors to both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Parliamentary ICT said in a tender published online that it is looking for suppliers to handle the design, supply, installation and support of wired and wireless data networks.

Four-year contract

The contract is to last four years, and is estimated to be worth more than £3m, according to the tender.

The contract is to be divided into two lots, one of which covers the replacement of data switches, telephony, and network access control.

Specific features include the replacement of data switches with about 12,000 ports, the replacement of a telephony system with about 6,000 ports, network access control, unified communications and Internet access.

The second lot, for the provision of a managed wireless data network including guest access, may go to the same provider or a different provider than the first lot.

“The new network infrastructure must be resilient and have sufficient capacity to carry additional network traffic at a later date,” Parliament ICT said in the tender. “This will allow Parliament to achieve its long term vision of network convergence.”

Efficiency

Strategic aims for the project include reducing the cost of ICT and providing opportunities for greater efficiency and effectiveness for Parliament, the tender said.

The supplier will be expected to deliver value for money, the capacity for flexibility, innovation and improvement throughout the life of the contract.

Implementation is expected to begin in September 2012 and to be completed by March 2014.