ATC launches $2.9m network-led tourism bid

The Australian Tourist Commission (ATC) last week completed a multimillion-dollar international data communications network installation as part of its aggressive plan to capture global tourism.

Sita edged out Telstra, Optus, Global One and BT to secure the $2.9 million, three-year contract.

The network links ATC offices around the world using Sita's network backbone to allow more than 200 users to communicate using e-mail, and access the Internet and company files.

The network connects ATC's Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, UK, USA, New Zealand and German offices, while the network hub is located in Sydney.

ATC's network expansion comes at a time when its workload gears up to cater for international interest in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the Centenary of Australian Federation and the Rugby World Cup.

Jerry Willimann, ATC's manager information technology, said Sita was selected as the most cost-effective bid. In addition, he said Sita's network offers the capability to introduce voice over IP in the future.

Key to the network is the use of a frame relay and asymmetrical permanent virtual circuits-based intranet.

Willimann said the ATC intranet is designed to support existing and future data applications and is intended to provide dial-up corporate network access for travelling ATC staff.

In addition, ATC network operates all of the company's databases, financial and accounting applications.

Sita conducts most of the network management functions; however, Willimann reports ATC has the capability to conduct its own remote network management to monitor network traffic.

The network relies on Cisco 2500 and 4000 series routers, with either one of the boxes allocated to ATC offices around the world.

Willimann reports the network upgrade went off without a hitch. "I must say, the project management was quite impressive," he said.

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