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Cloud-managed Wi-Fi connects Justices at the UK Supreme Court

The Supreme Court

PSTG Customer case study: 

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court in London is the final court of appeal in the UK, for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population.

The court has been using Cisco Meraki technology for over 5 years. However, in late 2018 the licenses were due for renewal and the access points were going end-of-life.

The in-house IT team are responsible for managing the network infrastructure and services for over 60 employees, Justices and for large legal teams representing clients during hearings. Due to the nature of the organisation, accessibility and consistent quality of Wi-Fi throughout the building and courts is critical.  Also, a consideration was the listed status of the building which meant that there would be aesthetic restrictions on where the equipment could be placed in each room.

The IT team decided to take this opportunity to review and then refresh their entire wireless estate and to explore any benefits that advancements in wireless technology could bring the organisation.

The team began to evaluate Cisco Meraki and Aruba. They chose the cloud managed solution from Meraki as they believed it to be far simpler to set up and easier to manage.

The combination of Cisco Meraki Access Points MR33’s and MR42’s ensures that the whole of the 106-year-old building, which has thick interior walls is covered. This includes the large court rooms which, during hearings, need to have the capacity to support the high volume of users within legal teams.

Meraki Access Points and Cloud Management: A Powerful Combination

All Meraki access points are managed through the Meraki cloud, with an intuitive browser-based interface that enables rapid deployment without training or certifications. The combination of the MR33’s and MR42’s makes this solution ideal for high density environments during court proceedings.

The Cisco Meraki access points are self-configuring and managed over the web – which meant that it took the IT 5 minutes to deploy each one. The access points are monitored 24x7 via the Meraki cloud, which delivers real-time alerts if the network encounters problems.

Keeping up to date with the latest features and software updates could not be easier with Meraki. Updates are managed through the Meraki client portal, and policy controls and security updates can be accessed and configured at any time, and from any location.

Fast installation and simple on-going management

The Cisco Meraki equipment arrived ahead of schedule and it took just 5 minutes per access point to install. The Supreme Court needed to be fully operational on week days so any downtime for installation was not an option. The installation throughout the building took place over a weekend – with no impact to staff or visiting legal teams when they returned to the court on Monday.

Brian CK Shek, Senior System Administrator & Commercial Officer explained that “it was important for us that we have a Wi-Fi solution that is simple to manage and requires little intervention on a day to day basis. Since deploying the Cisco Meraki solution, we rarely need to log into the dashboard – if there is a problem, we receive an alert which usually can be dealt with quickly.”

Future proofing

The Supreme Court attracts many visitors from all over the world who enjoy tours of the building and to observe court cases. The IT team plan to extend Wi-Fi access to visitors in the near future.

“What we like about Cisco Meraki is that it’s so easy to provide secure access to new groups – in our case, that would be visitors taking organised tours within the building. The solution we have now has the capacity to easily support our future plans”, added Brian.


Cisco Meraki recommended a number of partners that could deliver the solution.

True partnerships are important for the team at The Supreme Court, as Brian explains “Attentive account management is very important to us. The team at PSTG were diligent and responded quickly to any pricing or questions we had throughout the whole process. The Supreme Court has a critical function within the UK legal system, and PSTG understand this, which is why we were happy to work with them.”
“We also look to our suppliers to act as technology partners – this means taking the time to understand our business and objectives, so they can introduce us to solutions and services that will achieve those.”

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