TeliaSonera Finland launches a Regional Network solution to help effective networking of organizations

TeliaSonera Finland is launching Sonera Regional Network, a comprehensive, closed customer-network solution particularly for municipalities, joint municipal boards and other organizations in need of effective networking. The solution makes use of the current communications infrastructure. Different sectors can be provided with their own virtual networks to improve sharing of information. Thanks to the sufficient capacity and separation of traffic provided by the Regional Network solution, communications between offices and co-operations partners is effective, and costs are well under control.
Regional Network provides advanced opportunities for developing electronic transacting between municipal residents, authorities and companies. Based on a plan, one or more municipalities and their offices, as well as other organizations, such as companies, may be connected to the solution. Schools, health service, municipal administration, technical service and other special functions can be provided with virtual networks of their own, with communication needs and information-security levels defined. For example, Internet access from schools should preferably always be implemented as a separate virtual network entity.
Two or more organizations (for example, the health service of two municipalities) can interconnect their Regional Network solutions, if they so desire, and thereby share information with each other. It is also possible to add different information-security services - ranging from firewalls to filtering of Internet content - to the solution. Remote access is implemented with strong encryption.
The Regional Network solution is always customer-specific, and it is built in co-operation with the customer. A high-capacity communications entity is provided for the offices to be connected to the solution on local connections. The offices are interconnected concentratedly through one point. Internet traffic can also be defined office by office. The Regional Network solution always comprises a customer device delivered to the office. Sonera carries responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the equipment belonging to the service.
"Carefully selected IT solutions and reliable players provide a foundation for developing new processes and operations models. The municipalities' joint information-network and IT programmes have often been a start that has also generated other regional co-operation," says Development Manager Osmo Ruuska of TeliaSonera Finland, who is responsible for developing services for the municipal sector.
Regional Network provides good preconditions for co-operation between municipalities. Networking and co-operation increase, and the position of the municipalities in the region is strengthened. The municipal administration in Finland spends about 0.5 billion euros a year on information and communications technology. It is characteristic of the municipal administration that the development of IT usage is decentralized in municipalities and joint municipal boards. Increasing co-operation and more uniform practices require, however, more unified use of information technology.
The town of Keuruu already has user experience from a regional network. The offices of the town of Keuruu, including the office operating in Haapamäki, the major village of Keuruu, and the offices of the municipality of Multia were interconnected to form an efficient information network. "Keuruu's regional network contributes to the development and introduction of advanced solutions based on information and communication technology throughout the regional network area. Sonera Regional Network provides good opportunities to develop electronic transactions in the region. It also provides prerequisites for effective management, maintenance, servicing and documentation of the network and thereby allows our responsible persons to concentrate on development work," says Timo Louna, Mayor of Keuruu.

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