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The Welsh Assembly is tendering for a Wales-wide public sector telecoms contract that could be worth up to £420 million over seven years.

The "Public Sector Broadband Aggregation for Wales" contract is a framework agreement that will see suppliers provide a managed wide area network and other managed IP services for public sector organisations across Wales, including councils, schools, colleges, hospitals and the blue light services.

The network would also be offered to dentists, charitable organisations, private sector partners, opticians or pharmacies and other organisations involved in public sector service delivery.

The Welsh government wants "best value" over the life of the framework by getting chosen suppliers to sub-let short-term contracts to a number of network providers or through alternative arrangements.

Suppliers will also be "responsible for evaluating and trialling new networking technology for the life of the contract, and maintaining services in line with evolving business needs and technical opportunities".

The contracting authority "is seeking expressions of interest from integrators with a track record in providing integrated network solutions as well as telecommunications providers", says the tender notice.

"Telecommunications providers will need to demonstrate interworking with other telecommunications providers to deliver a blended, best value, solution to all locations," it adds.

The contract will be let for a period of seven years with the option, at the sole discretion of the contracting authority, to extend it for a further seven years in tranches of three years, plus two years, plus two years.

The estimated value of the deal is between £140 million and £420 million.

Last year it was announced that the Welsh government and BT had penned a £425 million deal to deploy superfast fibre broadband to 96% of homes and businesses by 2015.