Dept of Comms seeks IP in decentralisation push

4 May 2006

The Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources has decided to implement an IP-based telephony or voice over IP solution in its forthcoming decentralised offices in Cork and Cavan. The department also intends to install a 10Mb link between its Dublin HQ and the new offices.

The department today issued a tender on the Government’s E-tenders procurement website seeking the solution.

The tender document says the department is seeking a seamless and secure IP data-transfer infrastructure capable of supporting voice and video communications between the department’s head offices in Dublin’s city centre and the proposed decentralised offices in Clonakilty, Co Cork and Cavan Town.

It has decided to implement an IP-based solution incorporating voice (locally and over the WAN) and video conferencing initially but which is capable of supporting other IP-based technologies. There is also a requirement that the solution will provide sufficient expansion capabilities to facilitate the taking on of additional staff in both locations over the next three or four years.

At present the department has a complement of more than 600 staff, deployed in over 20 administrative and technical divisions. The department is spread geographically through a large number of separate offices. Approximately 500 staff are based in Dublin (in three offices), there are staff in Castlebar, Co Mayo and 100 are at other regional locations.

It says the prime focus of the IP system is to ensure reduced telephony costs.

The tender document says the successful solution will need to integrate for voice traffic with the department’s current telecoms infrastructure, which is based on an Alcatel 4400 PBX and utilises a H.323 gateway.

To support these services it intends installing a 10Mb asynchronous data line between Dublin and each of the offices in Cavan and Clonakilty.

By John Kennedy