Courts gain major network upgrade

The Department for Courts has completed a multi-million dollar nationwide voice and data communications network.

The Department for Courts has completed a multi-million dollar nationwide voice and data communications network.

Some 78 sites are affected, covering more than 5,000 extensions and giving equal access to staff from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

Alcatel provided the hardware and Clear is providing the network, in a six-year outsourcing arrangement with the department.

The new system modernises the department's phone system, which could not cope with the volume of calls.

Fibre optic cables have been installed to the 36 larger courts and other sites have had major bandwidth upgrades for faster and more efficient data transmission.

Clear will manage the network, including a centralised help desk and services such as administration, faults, queries and tailored reporting.

The company claims the upgraded network is one of New Zealand's largest fully digital networks. It provides employees with equal accessibility and services wherever they are in the country.

Portable telephone numbers also mean circuit judges can take their phone number with them as they travel between courts.

Department of Courts spokesperson Barry Ebert says the new network means a much-improved telephone service to both court users and the public.

The system has been funded out of existing budgets, he says, and will bring significant cost savings.

The new infrastructure also gives the department the capability to implement innovative services, such as advanced video conferencing and IP telephony in future.

Clear says the new system has been progressively rolled out nationally in the last few months with "all of the management hassle" removed.

Alcatel says the deal is globally significant and its OmniPCX 4,400 PBX system, which forms the platform of the service, will bring major efficiencies.

This will be helped by features such as nationwide call-by-name dialling, centralised voice-mail, a built-in Help system, and reduced training requirements for staff, says Alcatel e-business solutions manager Peter Chambers.

Additional future services include DECT (Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telephony), ensuring staff are accessible via wireless handsets wherever they are in the courthouse, call centre applications and Voice over IP.

Alcatel says its OmniPCX 4400 has also been fitted in New Zealand education, hospitality and other government organisations.

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