WiFi for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Technology plays a key role in enabling the FCO to achieve its future ambitions. With much of its IT coming to the end of its supportable life and being in need of modernisation they embarked on a Technology Overhaul programme of work to give staff the tools and capability they needed to do their jobs effectively.

The FCO has a skilled team of over 14,000 people in nearly 270 diplomatic offices across the world. WiFi technology was seen as a priority during the IT refresh programme to enable the FCO’s team to work efficiently and effectively together. Its benefits including, ease of communication, increased mobility and flexibility and its use of collaboration were seen as vital to carrying out the important work of the Foreign Office. With a proven track record in providing WiFi pilots to sections of our UK office, we were asked to supply our next WiFi solution to the FCO.

WiFi is a method for devices such as laptops and smartphones to connect wirelessly to the internet using radio waves. The perception of using such a method in buildings that deal with secure information was challenging and controversial. Our solution required our experts to use innovative ways to overcome these challenges and through collaborative working with key stakeholders, an approach was formulated to ensure WiFi could be rolled out safely and securely.

The WiFi project commenced in October 2015 and continues through to early next year. The benefits are now reaching users within the UK, with rollout to a significant number of global posts due to commence later in 2016 into 2017. By embracing modern technologies and giving users a seamless user experience of mobile/ desktop devices, we are enhancing the FCO’s communications and connectivity helping to make it a modern business.

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