Infrastructure > Devices

Jisc issues £120m JANET connectivity framework tender

Neil Merrett Published 30 May 2017

Initial five year agreement will be divided into three lots to ensure ongoing access to education network

The Joint Information System Committee (Jisc) has issued a £120m framework tender to provide telecommunications infrastructure, equipment and support services that will underpin connectivity to the Joint Academic Network (JANET) for potentially up to ten years.

Divided into three lots, the proposed agreement will appoint multiple providers to support the connectivity, hardware and expertise requirements of organisations linked to JANET, which connects UK universities, further education colleges and research councils.

According to the tender notice, the agreement will be divided into the following three lots:

-              Lot 1: Connectivity

-              Lot 2: Circuit terminating and aggregation equipment

-              Lot 3: Professional services

Jisc says it presently expects to either award the three lots separately, or by combining the second and third opportunity.

In terms of specific requirements, the first lot will provide access connectivity services, along with aggregation and co-location facilities.  The second lot is anticipated to select a single supplier to provide hardware capable of supporting connectivity to the network.

“These devices need to form part of a unified solution capable of providing speeds from 1 Gb/s through multiple 10 Gb/s to 100 Gb/s over the duration of the lifetime of the framework. Whilst a single device does not need to be in-life for all these stages a solution based upon a single family of devices is preferred to reduce operational complexity,” said the notice.

“In addition, a range of aggregation devices may be needed as part of the deployment in order more efficiently to utilise the services procured under Lot 1.”

The tender notice added that the current system is built using Ciena and Juniper hardware, with any successful supplier having to ensure interoperability with these technologies.

Lot 3 will meanwhile provide services that include the design, deployment and ongoing support of equipment for field engineering.

Running for an initial five year period, there will be two further opportunities to extend the timeline of the agreement by 36 and then 24 additional months.

According to the tender notice, the decision to award a contract with a minimum five year length reflects the time-scales required for replacing current local access networks and their varying contractual periods, as well as a need to allow for supplier investment.

To support the framework, a supplier briefing day is scheduled to be held in London on June 6, with invitations to tender expected to be sent on July 7.

Suppliers wishing to express interest in the opportunity have until June 22 to do so.

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