South Holland District Council

CESG Compliant Wireless LAN Implemented into Council to meet government GCSX CoCo standards

South Holland District Council in Spalding, Lincolnshire, provides various services to over 79,000 people in the District. The Council are dedicated to “developing and promoting South Holland as a thriving, living and working rural community” and the services at the Council buildings must reflect this vision. Where the corporate centre at the Council Offices is the hub for all council activity, the South Holland Centre is a busy arts centre, theatre, cinema, functions venue and base for a variety of creative activities.

Government Connect Secure Extranet (GCSX) Code of Connection (CoCo) details that Wireless Networks should be configured and operated in accordance with Communications Electronic Security Group (CESG) Infosec Manual Y or other approved encryption scheme. Consequently GCSX CoCo standards are mandated standards in local government organisations.

The challenge

The “Manual Y” standard was published by the Communications Electronic Security Group (CESG), the UK Government’s National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, in January 2007. It details for the first time, how wireless security should be implemented on restricted level projects. Since this announcement, Local Government has had to evaluate their current wireless LAN solutions to decipher if they are compliant. Bernard Baldwin, Network Manager at South Holland District Council, was tasked with sourcing and implementing a new Manual Y compliant wireless LAN within the Council Offices and the South Holland Centre.

The solution

As well as getting the correct solution, Mr. Baldwin also wanted to work with a company with knowledge and expertise on the recent Manual Y compliance – and AIT Partnership Group seemed to fit the bill. “Very few companies had even heard of Manual Y, let alone had experience in implementing wireless LAN solutions adhering to the standard”, explained Mr. Baldwin. “AIT had the expertise and technical knowledge I was looking for in a company for our council to work with”.

The result

For South Holland District Council, having full wireless coverage has improved the working environment of not just South Holland employees but created smoother inter-council working. “Our corporate workers are much more likely to use the wireless now”, Mr. Baldwin explained. “And it’s not just our workers as people from the other local councils are regularly hot-desking”.

“Without a doubt, this project has been a success. Both the equipment and AIT Partnership Group did the job that was required and ticked all the boxes”.