Thurrock is a diverse and growing borough located on the north side of the River Thames in Essex. Providing public services to Thurrock is Thurrock Council, a unitary authority, combining the functions of a non-metropolitan county with that of a non-metropolitan district.
As one of many councils working together in Essex to strengthen local decision making and improve engagement with residents, Thurrock Council recognises the need to provide staff with a more collaborative, connected way of working. So, when Essex councils started to explore the idea of implementing seamless roaming internet access through govroam, Thurrock Council jumped at the opportunity to take the lead on a county-wide implementation.
Stronger Partnerships through Mobility
As the public sector becomes increasingly collaborative, staff need to connect to the internet and other resources at their home organisations, but also in multiple locations, using any device. Govroam makes this happen by providing staff with access to the govroam network, using a single, securely-authenticated sign-on managed by their own organisation. This enables seamless connectivity across locations and reduces the time spent managing guest accounts.
While govroam is a national project, it must be delivered at a local level. Charged with implementing govroam in Essex, Thurrock Council began the search for a technology implementation partner. However, many of the industry leaders the council spoke with required additional hardware and costly services packages, which quickly pushed the project out of reach for Thurrock. Fortunately, Thurrock Council enlisted the help of its long-standing technology partner Optec, who devised a practical and economical solution that could be rapidly deployed.
Seamless, Cost-Effective Connectivity
At the heart of Optec’s govroam solution is its proprietary RADIUS service, which provides a scalable, highly resilient and cost-effective radius proxy as a service, which is supported and monitored 24/7 by Optec engineers in our Cardiff based Network Operations Centre (NOC). Optec’s solution is custom-built to leverage an organisation’s existing IT infrastructure, eliminating the need to purchase costly, and unnecessary, hardware.
Optec worked closely with Thurrock Borough Council to build and implement a custom govroam RADIUS proxy solution to facilitate govroam connectivity for the Essex Online Partnership (EOLP) which is made up of the majority of local government organisations in Essex.
Thurrock Borough Council went live with govroam in July 2019, giving council buildings, hospitals, universities, fire stations and other public sector organisations across Essex the ability to access to seamless, govroam-enabled guest networks nationwide. The successful deployment of govroam means that public sector staff can now easily access the internet securely across multiple sites and enjoy simplified access to wireless services – all through a single, authenticated sign-on managed by the user’s own, trusted organisation.
A Foundation for the Future of Work
The ability to easily access the govroam-enabled network helps provide a foundation for a new way of working. As more public sector organisations embrace remote work, govroam gives public sector staff the ability to work from alternative offices that may be closer to home. Additionally, the flexibility and mobility of the govroam network improves business continuity planning by empowering staff to work from a variety of offices and locations in the case of an unforeseen emergency.