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Tasmania takes its calls online

The Tasmanian government has hung up on big name telecommunications players just as Telstra and Optus, awarding a 10-year contract to replace its traditional phone lines with Voice over Internet Protocol services to an ASX-listed small cap provider MyNetFone.

The deal, which is worth $20 million, comes as the Tasmanian state government struggles to balance its budget afterwards a sharp drop in GST earnings.

The company will install a digital trunking service to form a telephone backbone for public servants throughout the state.

The move to internet-based telephone calls marks a step-change for government agencies that are traditionally conservative and by and large select big telcos just as Telstra and Optus to provide telephone services.

Where conventional services rely on individual copper wires to provide physical connections between telephones, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) transmits calls over the internet.

The internet

VoIP services are cheaper than traditional phone systems however are dependent on access to the internet. During it was once seen as unreliable, improvements in innovation and broadband connections have made it more reliable.

Ovum technology director David Kennedy said most government contracts for communications services were won by Telstra and Optus.

Mr Kennedy said VoIP was becoming more popular with corporate clients and that private networks were increasingly connected using internet protocols.

"They’ve currently got a Telstra product called Spectrum which is a hosted phone service in a traditional sense," he said. "We’re doing our deployment, testing and integration with the Tasmanian government’s other systems.

The Tasmanian government

He said the Tasmanian government would pay about $5 million over three years to build up the network and infrastructure with options to extend the contract for up to 10 years.

"We’re going to increase our presence in Tasmania and add to our data centre presence," Mr Sugo said. "Our network is as well video call-capable – up to 1 megabit per second which can sustain 720p high-definition video."

More information: Afr
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    Tasmania Takes Its Calls Online