Headlines: May 16th, 2003

An agreement has been reached which will support the government’s drive to widen access to high-speed broadband services for the public sector. The Office of Government Commerce has unveiled the Broadband Solutions Framework Agreement, which is designed to help public bodies to buy broadband connectivity and complementary services quickly and easily.The agreement has been established following a comprehensive procurement process and the OGC chief executive, Peter Gershon, said it would be of major benefit to government departments seeking to develop the use of broadband. It would reduce the time and effort needed to source broadband products as it offers value for money on quality goods and services without the need for separate tendering processes. Six companies have been chosen after all those bidding to be included in the agreement were assessed on quality and value.

The Agreement will allow government clients to gain easier access to a range of packaged services, which can be chosen from a ‘catalogue’. It will also facilitate the procurement of customer-specific services through mini-competition arrangements.

The Broadband Solutions Framework covers the range of current generation broadband connectivity solutions but is also designed to make available emerging technologies. As well as broadband connectivity, service providers can offer ancillary services and exchange lines.

The OGC was set up in April 2000 to act as a catalyst in procurement issues and to work with central government departments to achieve best value for money in their commercial activities.