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iiNet hooks Tasmanian police to the NBN

Hooking up to the NBN will allow the Tasmanian police to retire server infrastructure in several stations, according to the department.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

The Tasmanian Department of Police and Emergency Management will upgrade to the National Broadband Network (NBN) over the next three years with iiNet in a move that will cut the number of servers at police stations.

The internet service provider (ISP) announced today that it would supply a managed connection service to the department for the next three years to provide internet services in police stations and would connect the stations to the government's core network.

The company said that it was the first police department to sign up to the NBN. The deal was arranged through the Networking Tasmania contract with the Tasmanian State government, and also includes Telstra and Aurora Energy.

The department's deputy director of corporate services, Todd Crawford told ZDNet that iiNet currently manages ADSL internet services for 60 of the 74 police stations.

"It's safe to say they're in the smaller range of stations. The larger stations and headquarters buildings are currently with Telstra," he said. "When [iiNet's NBN] service offering came to market... we decided to take the plunge and move with them."

Deloraine station has been moved to the NBN and St Helen's station is in the planning stages, with four more stations set to come on board in the next six to nine months, Crawford said.

"As the service becomes available, basically we're taking the opportunity to roll it out to those stations where the NBN becomes available."

To ensure a smooth transition to the NBN, the existing ADSL service was left in place for 30 days, but Crawford said that it all went perfectly.

"It was completely seamless from our perspective."

The stations have opted for a 50Mbps downlink service on the NBN, which will allow the department to begin shifting applications back out of the stations.

"It enables us to retire server infrastructure at those locations, and bring back our centrally hosted model for application delivery," Crawford said. "That's consistent with where we're going with our overall application redevelopment program, moving to web-based applications hosted centrally."

Crawford said that the use of teleconferencing and voice-over-IP could be in the future, but the department hadn't made any formal plans yet.

Crawford said officers were describing being hooked up to the NBN as "the best computing experience in years."

There are a number of stations that fall outside the fibre footprint that are currently connected through 3G, and Crawford said that the department would consider alternatives such as satellite or fixed-wireless for those locations if it is available.

As it falls under the whole-of-government contract set up by the Tasmanian government, the value of the deal has not been disclosed.

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