Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service replaces legacy SD-WAN

Looking to ensure secure and seamless connection to key administrative applications while also facilitating virtual hearings, remote juries and live streaming of court proceedings, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service (SCTS) has awarded MLL Telecom a £1.8m three-year contract for the provision of a managed software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN).

SCTS is an independent corporate body established by the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008. Its function is to provide administrative support to Scottish courts and tribunals, and the judiciary of courts, including the High Court of Justiciary, Court of Session, Sheriff Courts, Justice of the Peace Courts, Office of the Public Guardian, and the Accountant of Court. The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service board is chaired by the Lord President, the most senior judge in Scotland. In 2023, SCTS successfully achieved Customer Service Excellence re-accreditation.

The nationwide network deployment is replacing a legacy solution which is due for completion by August 2024. This follows a competitive tender where increased security, resilience and bandwidth availability were high priorities, in line with SCTS’s technical roadmap to enable authorised staff members secure and reliable remote access to its central and cloud-based IT systems.

MLL’s integrated mixed carrier WAN solution is being rolled out across all 54 SCTS sites, including those in remote highland and islands areas. The SD-WAN includes dual circuits and the implementation of Fortinet firewalls. The network will be monitored and supported 24/7 by MLL’s network operations centre (NOC).

Commenting on the deployment, Mike Milligan, SCTS executive director of change and digital innovation, said: “MLL’s provision of a secure, reliable and high-speed SD-WAN matched the SCTS technical roadmap and design, and will maximise our ability to support the courts and members of the public. The provision of this flexible and highly responsive service is designed to support the introduction of emerging digital capabilities that will benefit the entire justice system.”

James Stamford, senior project manager at MLL, said: “We are delighted to be providing SCTS with a modern high-quality SD-WAN solution which is aligned to their requirements for ensuring highly efficient, secure and reliable administrative services to the judiciaries of Scotland. This project brings the additional challenges of connecting many older, often listed, buildings along with the remoteness of certain highland and island locations. MLL is therefore working very closely with our chosen carrier partners to ensure the smooth delivery of our proposed solution within a short timeframe.”