Global Crossing Gets $50 Million More on British Work

Global Crossing Ltd. has been awarded a $50 million increase on a contract with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office that will add 52 sites to the office's worldwide private network.

The contract expansion, announced Sept. 21, raises the value of the 10-year contract to $300 million. The original contract was awarded to Bermuda-based Global Crossing last year for an estimated $250 million.

The expanded project now represents all of the FCO's sovereign sites, connecting British embassies and consulates through a global Internet, protocol-based, virtual private network.

The FCO network is the largest outsourcing project awarded by the government organization. It provides high-speed voice, data and messaging services to more 11,000 users in British embassies, consulates and high commissions around the globe.

The final service trial for voice delivery to the FCO's 17 sites in the United States was just completed successfully.

"Communication is at the heart of diplomacy," said Robin Cook, U.K. foreign secretary at the time Global Crossing and the FCO signed the initial contract last year. "Our objective is to transform the FCO from a headquarters with offsite locations into a single online global organization."

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