back to article Oh good. Transport for London gives Capita £80m for WAN, LAN and Wi-Fi

Transport for London has inked an £80m deal with outsourcing giant Capita to provide Wide Area Network services in the UK capital. Under the deal, Capita will maintain WAN, LAN and Wi-Fi networks across more than 1,000 TfL sites from August 2018. The deal is for five years, with the option to extend it for another five. TfL …

  1. Blotto Silver badge


    TFL have gone to an outsourcer to source their Data network instead of going to a company that does networking?

    simply stupid.

    1. Semtex451

      Re: Seriously?

      Yea probably only Crapita and Magic Leap are on the approved vendor list.

      One does everything badly, the other does nothing, but very well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seriously?

      It's entirely typical of TfL these days. They got rid of most of their engineering ability in favour of employing "project managers". They now have clueless PPE "graduates" running multi million pound infrastructure projects and won't ever blame these clueless cretins when things go wrong....

      The senior management at TfL are starting to realise that they've screwed the pooch. Many of them are leaving as quickly as possible for private sector jobs - often taking serious pay cuts in the process - but safe in the knowledge that they're getting out before disaster strikes.

      It is only a matter of time before there's a major disaster on the tube network. The Maintenance cutbacks and inept management mean that one of the busiest metros in the world is now so unsafe that many of in the know refuse to use it.

      The roads infrastructure is a mess, with traffic control systems that used to be the envy of the world now so ineffectively managed that it can take three hours to travel 10 miles by road (as happened to me last month).

      TfL is a disgrace and no longer fit for purpose. This example of truly stupid outsourcing is just one example of their utter ineptitude. Funny thing is - the Management of TfL whine on about reduced grants from Central Government: It's complete nonsense as their money from Central Government has more than kept pace with inflation - every year - and their fare rises massively exceed general inflation.

      AC since I don't want to be sued (again!)

  2. Unep Eurobats

    'TfL reckons it will save £33m'

    ... which will be passed on as fare reductions to the hard-pressed London commuter. I'm certain.

    1. Semtex451

      Re: 'TfL reckons it will save £33m'

      £33M saving over 5 years, so £6.6M/year divide that by TfL's Annual passenger journey figure allegedly 1.37B

      So we get 1/2p discount per journey. No that's not right, is it?

      Nevermind, the world has obviously gone completely mad.

      Pass the mince pies.

  3. Hans 1

    Crapita public wifi ????

    Who in their right mind would connect a device to a wireless network operated by Crapita ????

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Crapita public wifi ????

      Anyone that wants to see the internal workings of TfL maybe?

      1. My Alter Ego

        Re: Crapita public wifi ????

        This will be great for train enthusiasts, or anyone who's ever wanted to control a full scale tube train (completely with life-like passengers)

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Crapita public wifi ????

      Who in their right mind would connect a device to a wireless network operated by Crapita ????

      One could say that about anyone capable of implementing the scheme really.

      If not Crapita I don't know who anyone would suggest should implement the scheme. Maybe everyone should just do nothing?

      1. Naselus

        Re: Crapita public wifi ????

        "If not Crapita I don't know who anyone would suggest should implement the scheme."

        Literally anyone else. There's 14 year olds with better success rates on large-scale technical project rollouts.

      2. JohnMurray

        Re: Crapita public wifi ????

        Crapita won't actually do it, they'll outsource the contract to others...we all know that.

        Probably Russia!

    3. macjules

      Re: Crapita public wifi ????

      Anyone who wants to grab data from several million mobile handsets on a daily basis? Of course with Capita the WiFi networks are totally safe, never have problems and always have a reliable call centre to help.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doesn't seem too bad

    after all, it's only 0.8 of a DUP and probably more useful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Doesn't seem too bad

      But less valuable. Keeping communists out of government is significantly more valuable than being able to watch cat videos on the tube.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Doesn't seem too bad

        "Keeping communists out of government"

        Blimey, looks like Joe McCarthy is still alive and kicking! Have you checked under your bed recently? You know what those pesky reds are like...

    2. macjules

      Re: Doesn't seem too bad

      Or an Arthur ... Half the cost of an F35

  5. Anonymous Bullard

    Actually, after looking at my Virgin Media bill, they got a really good deal!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the other hand....

    the article suggests that TFL build in some worth while penalty clauses so presuming that this does get impemented properly* and run late like everything Craptia does, may not end up costing much after all.

    *for a given value of incompetently

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On the other hand....

      TfL contracts NEVER have penalty clauses. "It's not the way we do business". This means that ineffective contractors remain employed and little or nothing gets done properly any more.

      AC since I was there!

  7. Salestard

    Never in the field of human history...

    ...has so much, been buggered up for so many, by so few.

    If I ever had the moral breakdown required to enter politics, and the sheer force of poisonous personality to grasp and claw my way to the top, my very first Act of Parliament would be the Stop Giving Capita Anything Act 2001 (I'd make it the only and only retrospective application of law in our history (probably)), thereby making it illegal for anyone to allow Capita to do anything except to run demonstrations on how to completely not do any sort of IT project... which of course they'd utterly fail to run properly.

    I only wish I'd started a brown paper envelope business, because there must a be killing to be made supplying them to these clowns

    1. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Never in the field of human history...

      What crapita sock puppet down voted that fine rant!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Never in the field of human history...

        It can't be someone from Crapita, they don't employ people that can read.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Never in the field of human history...

          They do employ people who can read! And people who can write. Just not people who can do both.

    2. Caltharian

      Re: Never in the field of human history...

      good idea although it would not be the first retrospective application of law the tories already did that when their workfare program was found to be ilegal

  8. Fading


    At least it's not our favorite FrankenFirm..........

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suck it up London and get ready for Wifi that's as reliable as Government.

  10. Angry IT Monkey

    I don't know what the fuss is about, it's not like Crapita have any problems with their own networks.

    I mean have you ever heard of them having problems due to network in the last, oh I don't know, month, week or day?

    (Icon to show I've not lost my marbles, yet, completely)

  11. rwill2

    At least the Crapita jobs might stay here in the UK ... even if low paid.

    Looks like they have a heavy UK presence, India not listed:

    Nice to see a lack of PR on their Wiki too, lots of fund stories on their failures

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The two heads of Worzel Gummidge...Slurping WiFI/Daily location data to enforce the BBC Licence Fee?

    So what is to stop Crapita combining it's two roles of enforcement of the BBC licence fee and slurping data to monitor unauthorised usage of BBC iPlayer via mobile devices, or is that their real goal here?

    Are Crapita now out to catch 16yo single mothers on the Circle line with push chairs watching a bit of iPlayer trying to keep warm, next Winter?

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: The 2 heads of Worzel ..Slurping WiFI/Daily location data to enforce the BBC Licence Fee?

      No, Crapita are nowhere near competent enough to gather actual evidence of TV licence infringement.

      1. JohnMurray

        Re: The 2 heads of Worzel ..Slurping WiFI/Daily location data to enforce the BBC Licence Fee?

        Dunno about that.

        They send a letter to my flat every three months threatening me with court if I don't buy a TV licence.

        Addressed to the guy who used to live there a few years ago, until he died.

        I even told them he was no longer living.

        They then asked me if I had his new address.

        They still send threats to my address...

        1. Ogi

          Re: The 2 heads of Worzel ..Slurping WiFI/Daily location data to enforce the BBC Licence Fee?

          > They then asked me if I had his new address.

          Give them the address to the local cemetery. Would love to do that myself, just to see them try to serve a notice to a graveyard :-)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes me..


  14. Mr Dogshit

    "To ink" is not a verb.

    Repeat after me: "To ink" is not a verb.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "To ink" is not a verb.

      Merriam-Webster and co beg to differ:

      Definition of ink

      transitive verb

      1 : to put ink on ink a pen; also : to draw or write on in ink

    2. veti Silver badge

      Re: "To ink" is not a verb.

      Repeat after me: there is no noun that cannot be verbed.

  15. David 155


    Does this include stuff like the bus countdown displays?

  16. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Oh yes it was.

    " Our delivery wasn't up to the standard expected"

    Exactly the standard we'd expect from that bunch of......

  17. Fred Dibnah

    Rewarded for failure

    "Our delivery wasn't up to the standard expected" blah, fatuous drivel, drone, platitudes, etc etc

    So why exactly did they get this contract?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rewarded for failure

      They got it because they provided the fattest brown envelope.

      AC for very obvious reasons

  18. Arkyn
    Thumb Down

    What could possibly go wrong?

    I imagine someone is getting a nice kickback for this contract...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    failure is a positive

    because it really trucking maters whether you have wi-fi on the tube. I've managed for 46 years without it, and actually hope it doesnt work underground.

    1. EBG

      not the idea

      It's not being set up for the user benefit.

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: failure is a positive

      The article doesn't specify which TFL network infrastructure is covered by the contract. It's all very well scoffing and saying you don't need Wifi on the tube, but TFL themselves have various networks that will be covered by the contract, and these may do things like enable communication between important parts of the tube network, such as the signalling systems.

      Wifi may or may not be important, but you need to be able to communicate with the signaling systems, and it''s entirely possible that modern signalling systems (such as that used on the Jubilee Line) will use standard networking hardware and protocols (such as Twisted Pair cabling and Ethernet) to communicate. Scoff all you like about Wifi, but TFL need to be able to communicate with the signaling systems.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. Tromos

    Get the priorities right FFS.

    If there's any infrastructure spending to be done it needs to be on the points and signals whose regular failures bring yet more misery to vast numbers of commuters.

  22. 6491wm

    Could be worse, Capita could be involved with Air Traffic Control as well.

  23. Elmer Phud

    Oh shit!

    Crapita are reducing the support for schools etc. by having far fewer humans to answer phones.

    And, as a company, they are slowly dropping in the to shitter.

    But, best to ensure the top folks get a wee Xmas bonus

  24. TrumpSlurp the Troll


    Going down the tubes?

  25. silks

    Network Specialist

    Not sure why TfL went with Crapita instead of a network specialist company who live & breath this kind of stuff, and maybe even have a great track record of delivery?

    I'm sure that their Procurement team have some very convincing policy/procedural/guideline reasons for this decision...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Network Specialist

      TfL are now staffed by PPE graduate "project managers" who have no idea about anything technical. Give those idiots a nice Powerpoint presentation about how wonderful your "delivery" will be and how you employ the "right" proportion of BAME employess and you're sure to get the job, whether you're capable or (probably) not!

      AC because I was there!

  26. Smoking Gun

    So they botch a contract for TFL and get rewarded with another?

    TFL reckon they will make savings, Capita will charge them for ever little extra going, make very little savings in the long run, it's what they do. Bid cheap, charge the extras, Ryan Air of IT.

  27. toffer99

    Wikipedia: "Capita Group has not been received well by the public and in the media. It has gained the nickname "Crapita", particularly from the coverage in the satirical and current affairs magazine Private Eye, which routinely documents the company's many failures and setbacks in the public sector."

  28. ecofeco Silver badge


    Oh this will work out well.

  29. VicMortimer Silver badge

    I'm glad I don't live in London.

    As an American, I'm glad I don't live in London at this point. I've never interacted with Crapita, but I'm aware of how horrible they are to you poor sods. They've got a corporate reputation on the level of Comcrap, but with even more fail and with the ability to harass even non-customers.

    Console yourselves with not having to live with Donald Drumpf as head of government, Theresa May is bad, but she's not Orange Tweetler bad.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why Crapita

    I worked for them for a very very short time, I ran out of there,

    It my years working in IT Desktop Services, I would be very careful on outsourcing ,I for one would stick with in-house services, but IT today is run by accounts, and budgets.

    Worst mistake you can make by assigning Crapita another outsourcing contract, this will bite them in the you know what,

  31. BCV T/OP


    As a TFL employee I am totally conflicted. The only people rejoicing over wifi coverage on the tube are probably terrorist, the Madrid bomb was detonated by phone, however with Crapita in charge we should be safe

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The answer is fairly obvious isnt it. Capita IT Services can deliver the WAN, LAN & Wifi. Capita had a dispute with TFL for which they incurred a penalty of £25m. 12 months later, Capita win a contract with TFL worth £80m.

    I am pretty sure that the deal reflects good business to the tax payer as Capita IT Services are no doubt doing the job for next to nothing to help resolve the £25m dispute at Group level.

    That's not going to help increase profitability for Capita, a wise man once said turnover is vanity and profitability is sanity..

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