NSW brews massive voIP project

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The NSW government is believed to be working up a huge voice-over-IP project - covering up to 20,000 handsets - as part of its Business Link shared services initiative.

The voIP project is understood to leverage the 1500 kms of state-owned fibre that run along NSW's railways, which the government has flagged as a key piece of its $283 million scheme to improve communication services in the state.

The government plans to use the fibre to supply broadband connections to government agencies, with the hope of putting a considerable dent in its $250 million annual telecommunications bill.

Once the links are in place, the IP infrastructure can be used to deliver voice services, bypassing the traditional telco exchanges.

The NSW government has already called for expressions of interest for private organisations to provide "the last mile connection to a backbone of fibre optic cable running from the Queensland to the Victorian border" for the broadband project.

The Business Link project has been spurred by the Premier's department to encourage the use of shared, non-core services, such as payroll, HR and IT functions across government departments.

While Business Link also includes the departments of Community Services, Age and Disability and Homecare, it is understood that the Department of Housing is taking the lead in developing the voIP project.

A spokesperson for Business Link was unable to confirm details of the voIP project, but said "all NSW governments and agencies are being told they need to subscribe to a shared services system."

"The idea with of these shared services is that they will be cutting edge and high tech," she said.

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