The New South Wales Department of Commerce
has revealed it will use multiple telcos to service the bandwidth
needs of its new wide area network.
Commerce is a government agency housing a number of portfolios broadly focused on facilitating the conduct of business in the state. The department's latest published annual report -- for the 04/05 financial year -- stated it had some 3,289 employees as of 30 June 2005.
The department is currently in the process of upgrading its wide area network,
which covers some 80 sites across the state. The move will
involve a technology refresh of key network routing devices.
While most of the network's bandwidth needs will be covered by NSW's
AU$300 million state-wide government broadband network operated by
telco Soul, Commerce revealed in tender documents this week it
would need to provide access to some sites through other parties.
"The broadband data services to the greater number of these
 sites will be provisioned under the Government Broadband
Service agreement with Soul," Commerce said in the documents.
"However, there are a significant number of Commerce sites for
which the Government Broadband Service does not have effective
Commerce noted most of those sites were located in the greater
Sydney metropolitan area, although a small number of regional
locations were also included. Soul has historically positioned itself in the Australian
market as primarily focused on regional service delivery.
Most of Commerce's sites will be serviced by 2-10Mbps data
links, with some requiring higher speeds. The links will be provisioned over approximately the next six months.
The department's move to go to market for an additional telco supplier comes as NSW has recently culled its list of potential suppliers for the state's combined AU$260 million telecommunications spend over the next few years. The state will soon appoint successful tenderers to a panel from which agencies will buy services.