The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is leading a tender process worth up to £350m to provide connectivity to embassies and consulates in 170 countries across the globe.
The FCO – working alongside the Department for International Development and the British Council – has issued a contract notice looking for one or more commercial suppliers to provide “global, resilient, flexible, and scalable enterprise-wide voice and data connectivity services”. These services are required to connect ministerial headquarters and other sites across the UK, as well as embassy and consulate facilities around the world.
The three government agencies are seeking to connect a total of about 550 sites in 170 nations. Work is currently scheduled to begin on 1 September 2018, with the award of a framework contract worth between £75m and £350m, the FCO estimated.
The Foreign Office and its allies are looking for companies that can provide a wide range of core networking and connectivity services, including managed wide area network and campus local area network options. The tender also specifies various add-on services that may be required via call-off contracts, including firewalls, remote-access servers, load-balancing, and WAN acceleration.
Other public bodies may be invited to procure services through the framework, the FCO said, and the chosen company, or companies will be required to work with outgoing suppliers, and incumbent providers of related services.
“The scope of the services will include transition from the incumbent supplier, provision of the connectivity services, and exit-management services to support transition to a replacement service provider on expiry of the call off contracts,” the FCO added.
“The connectivity-service supplier will be required to work with the provider of the voice and video service, that will be provided separately to some or all of the procuring bodies, to ensure that the end-to-end service meets the requirements of the end users. The connectivity-service supplier will also be expected to provide a range of lifecycle and common services as an integral part of the contracted solutions.”