NZ govt network signs first users

NZ government network signs first users
Written by Rob O'Neill, Contributor

Two New Zealand government agencies have signed contracts to use the new Government Shared Network (GSN), the first of five expected to migrate their networks to the service towards the end of the year.

The Department of Labour and Maritime New Zealand have committed to using the new network, built specifically for government users. The Ministry of Education and the State Services Commission are close to signing, while a further 17 agencies have signalled an intention to sign contracts at some point.

The $14 million GSN project, for inter-agency collaboration, received the final go-ahead from lead government agency the State Service Commission at the end of June. The network will deliver a range of high-speed services including off-site disaster recovery, IP telephony and remote access. It is expected to reduce the cost of voice and data traffic and provide improved budgeting through fixed charging.

Department of Labour CEO, James Buwalda, said the GSN would allow the agency to unify its disparate networks and service providers and make its working environment more efficient and accessible.

Russell Kilvington, Maritime New Zealand Director, said he signed up for practical reasons including better value and a better choice of products and services that would otherwise have been beyond the agency's budget.

The network will provide high-speed interconnection for agencies with adherence to a "restricted" government security standard, secure remote access, gateways, virus and spam filtering, IP telephony and access to storage on demand.

IBM will provide network management and service delivery for the GSN. It will also provide some network componentry and services along with an array of other vendors including FX Networks Asnet, Datacom Systems, Kaon, DTS and the former New Zealand Hitachi Data Systems, now called Revera.

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