Mystery government department seeks alternative telco network

The proposed network intended to carry traffic when public networks are unavailable

An anonymous government department is requesting proposals to build an alternative telecommunications network in New Zealand, according to a request for information (RFI) from Consultel. The independent telecommunications consulting practice is acting on behalf of the unknown department, which doesn’t wish to be named.

Consultel’s Bruce Tichbon says his client doesn’t wish to comment publicly on the project at this time.

Proposals were due in on March 27, but the deadline was extended by a week.

The proposed alternative network is intended to carry traffic when the public networks are unavailable locally or nationally, according to the RFI.

The network will also be independent of all other internal networks and infrastructure. It will support voice, fax and email, and should also be able to expand accommodate future client-server and database applications, GIS applications, real-time collaborative working, interaction with the public and future shared applications, says the RFI document.

The client also requires systems be built using open standards.

The network is to have 16-19 sites throughout the country. Some of these sites shall be “primary sites” and others “secondary sites”, according to the RFI. Primary sites need to support peak data rates of only 500kbit/s to 1.5Mbit/s and the secondary sites 250kbit/s to 500kbit/s.

The RFI says that “most situations requiring use of the alternative network will be localised to three sites at most.”

The anonymous client wants the network to have a comprehensive management system, which must be available in situations when only the alternative network is working.

The client is also seeking a complete integrated solution, including security, and general and security maintenance, as well as system operation. Front-line staff are to be trained by the service provider. Price is, of course, to be negotiated.

The proposed systems must comply with government standards.

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