GDS extends Government Wi-Fi project across UK

GDS extends Government Wi-Fi project across UK

After launching the service early last year, the Government Digital Service (GDS) is planning to extend Government Wi-Fi to increase the number of users.

The GDS initiative allows any public sector building across the country to have access to a secure Wi-Fi network wherever they are working. Gov Wi-Fi went into public beta early last year and provides an automatic sign on with cloud-based authentication, ensuring continued access to networks as users move between buildings.

Plans are being put in place by the GDS to take the service further than public beta and increase the number of users across the country, ensuring more people have access to the network connection.

GDS extends Government Wi-Fi project across UK

The service allows users to connect to any public sector building.

A search for a contractor to carry out the next phase of the initiative is underway, with the successful contractor expected to hold a 12-month contract with the GDS. The contract will include carrying out the programme to make the service a fully live service, extending it to more public sector buildings across the country.

The benefits of the service include users being able to access the service as they move through various public sector buildings and as well as just their own users can access network connections in buildings that they have never visited just through one single sign-on.

Users are each issued with an individual randomly generated credentials and encryption keys to log onto the Wi-Fi and access the internet, making the network much more secure than any that has been available before. The login requirements make the service much safer as only select people can access the Wi-Fi unlike having a general password for anyone to use.

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Those that can access the service include civil servants, contractors and guests visiting the buildings and will automatically connect them there on after the first sign on.

All funding for the project is by the GDS meaning there will be no costs for departments to take on the service.

The GDS aims to begin the contractor programme by mid-March 2018 for an initial 12 month period.