Regional and rural outposts of Victorian government agencies can expect better video conferencing and faster internet services thanks to new telecommunications contracts that take effect today, according to the premier’s department.
The main advantage of the new set of deals is a combined $129 million in savings — or $34 million per year. But the department says it will also improve some of the communication services available to the state’s public servants, especially those in less built-up areas. A DPC spokesperson told The Mandarin:
“The new arrangements will provide Victorian Government customers with new service offerings, and deliver greater flexibility in responding to evolving telecommunications technologies, shifting customer needs and new service providers.
“The service offering in regional Victoria will be greatly enhanced, providing better coverage and broadband, and an ability to expand teleconferencing to save time and money, and improve communication across the state.”
The department says five new contracts will “combine the expertise of the big players in Telstra and Optus with the more agile and competitive niche services offered by NEC, Vocus, MyNetFone, Mitel, and R-Group” in a statement about its updated Telecommunications Purchasing and Management Strategy.
The new strategy, known as TPAMS2025, will “introduce market contestability” into the government’s telecommunications procurement, according to DPC, and introduces new contract for “unified services” alongside those for data, voice, internet and mobile:
“These [unified services] include audio, web and video conferencing to make it cheaper and easier for public servants working in regional and rural Victoria stay connected.
“The five new TPAMS2025 State Purchase Contracts range in duration from three to four years and replace the three Telecommunications Carriage Services contracts established in 2004. The existing contracts cost $160 million per year, with cost of the new contracts dropping to $126 million per year.
“The new agreements cover services like fixed landlines, internet connection, mobile voice and data services, and videoconferencing for all Victorian Government departments and agencies, with a focus on enhancing coverage across regional and rural Victoria.