Queensland parliamentary service seeks telecom review

Some members of state parliament have 20-year-old phone systems.

The Queensland parliamentary service wants to upgrade telephone infrastructure and move to IP-based unified communications, according to a tender published this month.

The parliamentary service, which provides advisory, information and support services to Parliament, said there is an “urgent need to replace ageing telephone infrastructure located in electorate offices across the State”.

In addition, the body seeks to evaluate and act on recommendations from a recent strategic review of IT, including adopting a unified communications strategy with VoIP and Web conferencing, and possibly moving the location of corporate and electorate office data stores.

The parliamentary service said it “requires the assistance of experts in the field of telecommunications to provide advice and assistance to facilitate these investment decisions”.

Part of the planned review will include an evaluation of the “reality of potential NBN benefits and how quickly the Parliament may be able to take advantage of them”.

The parliamentary service expects the chosen consultant to complete the review and turn in a report by 15 March. The total cost of the review must not exceed $30,000, excluding GST, it said.

The parliamentary precinct currently has 525 Telstra Customnet voice services, including 437 analogue handsets and 88 digital “P-Phone” style handsets “in various forms and ages,” it said. It also has "45 direct PSTN services used for fax, modem and EFTPOS machines".

Per annum, the precinct spends about $3,500 on local calls, $17,000 on calls to mobiles, $2,100 on long distance, $3,000 on directory assistance and information services, and $2,000 on conference calls, the parliamentary service said.

Each parliamentary member’s office has a “small telephone system that was installed some 15-20 years ago,” the parliamentary service said. “This system is ageing and is now unable to meet the modern business demands of Members and staff.”

Existing services to electorate offices are Telstra PSTN lines. Per annum, the 94 electorate offices spend $20,000 on local calls, $35,000 on calls to mobiles, $9,000 on long distance, $5,500 on directory assistance and information services.

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