Defence has announced that it will consolidate its fixed line telecommunications suppliers from three down to one.
One of Australia's largest consumers of telecommunications, Defence currently holds fixed line contracts with Telstra, Optus and Verizon, but will whittle these down to a single supplier under a tender soon to be released under Joint Project (JP) 2047 Phase 3 (Terrestrial Communications).
A spokesperson for Defence told iTnews that in the near future, Defence "expects to deal with a single legal entity - either an existing company or consortium."
Defence has confirmed that its three current suppliers have been advised of its strategy.
The agency is looking to build a single network that will accommodate both its war fighting and administrative/corporate requirements. The project is a component of a wider consolidation and standardisation effort called the Defence Information Environment or DIE.
The DIE strategy, driven by Defence CIO Greg Farr, is attempting to establish good, workable relationships with fewer suppliers so as to reduce administrative complexity.
"Defence needs to address the deficiencies in its existing Terrestrial Communications network by building an integrated, high-capacity, highly reliable network which enables Defence to improve the conduct of operations and the management of its business," Defence said in a document foreshadowing the release of a tender on April 22.
According to the Defence ICT Strategy announced in 2009, the DIE will be "one network connecting fixed and deployed locations built on a single set of standards and products."
It will work across all levels of security - with most desktops in all Defence sites viewing the same environment, pending their level of authorisation.
The DIE, which will also see the consolidation of Defence's 200 data centres and server rooms andforms part of a $940 million, four year program of Defence ICT reform.