The deal comes as part of the Scottish Wide Area Network (SWAN) programme and will impact over 6,000 public sector sites
Today, BT has secured a £350 million contract that will see the operator upgrade connectivity for schools, hospitals, and other public sector sites across Scotland as part of the SWAN programme.
Scotland’s SWAN project was first imagined back in 2012, with a partnership between Capita and Updata Infrastructure being awarded the contract to build and operate the network in 2014 after a contentious tender process.
Since then, SWAN has gradually grown to provide connectivity services and support to over 6,000 public sector sites, including schools, hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacists and local council offices. According to BT, this includes 22 NHS Scotland boards, 278 general and community hospitals, and more than 900 GP practices.
The new contract will see BT take over as the network’s sole provider, with the operator aiming to “accelerate the digital transformation of Scotland’s public sector including to some of the most rural areas across the country”.
“This major investment from the Scottish Government, and our public sector partners, will make sure that staff across our public services have access to rapid and reliable connections with a greater capacity and bandwidth,” said Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care. “The SWAN programme will drive benefits for communities across Scotland, making sure that no one is left behind and can access the benefits of technology.”
According to BT, the use of their fibre and wireless networks will help to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas, allowing for the provisioning of more remote services, like telemedicine, as well as supporting essential public health services.
BT will invest up to £350 million over the next six years to expand and upgrade SWAN.
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