GNS is more than just a government network

The NSW Government Network Service (GNS) will not be limited to benefiting government users, but is designed to encourage enhanced services for the whole community.

So said Greg Harrigan, a senior strategist from the Office of Information Technology (OIT), NSW Department of Information Technology & Management, last week.

Speaking at the Australian Telecommunications User Group's (Atug) monthly special interest meeting, Harrigan said the ideal of the GNS will be to "have 'industrial-strength' Internet-like services publicly available to business as well as government users".

The GNS is a whole of government initiative to provide integrated communications infrastructure and services to all state agencies and departments.

Harrigan said the government was encouraging service providers to supply advanced communications services that would benefit the whole community.

With the GNS still in its early development stages, Harrigan said the benefits of the initiative were available to government users now, but may be extended to the outside community further down the track.

He said it would depend on suppliers when the fully developed services would be available to business and the community.

Following a tender process last year, eight suppliers have been selected as service providers for the project.

Successful tenders are AAPT, Anite Networks, Flow Communications, OzEmail, Soul Pattinson Telecommunications, Cable & Wireless Optus, Telstra and Fujitsu Australia.

According to Harrigan, in order to drive competition the NSW government decided to chose several suppliers rather than a single provider.

Harrigan said a key initiative of the GNS is to encourage agencies to use services rather than build their own networks.

"The government is not in the business of building network services," Harrigan said.

"The government wants to use services . . . [and] as far as possible these services should be in the public domain."

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