Support for shared network 'cautious'

GSN plans 'early days yet' but focus already turning to last mile cost savings

Response to the Government Shared Network (GSN) plan from larger government agencies is mixed.

Inland Revenue’s acting national manager of IT, Don Burns, says his department “supports the e-government strategy of which the Government Shared Network project is a central plank. Inland Revenue is working with the State Services Commission to assess opportunities to participate in the shared network consistent with, and complementing, the telecommunications capabilities that the department is currently implementing with TelstraClear under its Telecommunications Review Project.”

Rohan Mendes IT manager at Police is more doubtful of the GSN’s potential utility for his or other large departments. The Police, of course, already have their own nationwide network designed to carry special-purpose traffic. “We will not say we absolutely will not [participate in the GSN],” he says. "Certain applications like a common email gateway are relevant to us. But most of the cost of any network is in the last mile, and unless government departments co-locate, I can’t see any great cost saving.”

MSD IT boss Tim Occleshaw says the Ministry is “supportive of whole-of-government initiatives such as shared infrastructure; but it’s early days yet [to be making a definite commitment].

“We will continue to work with the SSC to explore possible opportunities,” Occleshaw says.

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