Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Growth, presented the report which set out the process for a joint procurement of ICT network services across several councils (Bury, Rochdale, Oldham, and Stockport), Greater Manchester Combined Authority including Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and Transport for Greater Manchester. In response to comments from Members, it was noted that this proposal focussed on linking up public estates but might provide opportunities in the future to expand on private ones.
1. Agreed that Bury enters contracts via GMCA to connect Bury assets to the preferred provider; and
2. Agreed to Bury entering the GMOne Network Collaboration Agreement with the GMCA, TfGM, and Stockport, Rochdale and Oldham councils.
Reasons for the decision:
Greater Manchester’s Digital Blueprint launched in February 2020 included a specific ambition to Extend Our World Class Digital Infrastructure as a cross cutting enabler to underpin the city regions economic and social ambitions.
Alternative options considered and rejected
Do Nothing – including not lighting the fibre delivered under the LFFN
programme. This option is discounted as each organisation needs effective
network services and wishes to leverage the infrastructure. This option could also require repayment of the DCMS funding for LFFN as a condition of the grant funding is to use the fibre.
DIY – involving each organisation procuring network services separately across the LFFN infrastructure. It was felt that this would result in a missed opportunity to provide network services with higher resilience, capabilities and bandwidth at lower cost.
Collaboratively light the fibre with other LFFN partners - this option was preferred on the basis that a joint approach could generate savings and service improvements plus wider strategic benefits with potential further gains as other organisations join at a later stage. In addition it would avoid duplicate procurements. The network design would still enable each organisation to manage its services across this shared network.