Government Networks

The Department of Public Expenditure & Reform in conjunction with the Government Networks Programme Board has established the Government Networks (GN) on behalf of the non-commercial public sector.

Government Networks (GN) is a private, managed, wide area network (WAN) connecting public service agencies on a data, voice and video capable network. GN is designed primarily to facilitate secure and reliable communication between Government agencies and to support existing and future Government applications. A mechanism for providing agencies with a secure access to the Internet is included as well as a means for agencies to securely host Internet services.

GN offers a number of potential cost and operational benefits to participating agencies and to government as a whole:

  • Facilitates inter-agency collaboration and delivery of joined-up government services by providing a secure connectivity environment for data exchange/sharing.
  • All agencies regardless of size have access to network capability and products/technology usually available only to large ICT capable agencies.
  • Takes care of many standard day-to-day infrastructure services so agencies can focus their resources on providing their core programmes and services.
  • Security of government information systems is significantly improved by consolidating expertise and resources at a small number of network connections.
  • Internet access costs for government agencies have substantially been incorporated into one highly resilient infrastructure, providing much greater bandwidth to agencies than had been practicable heretofore.
  • Offers the commercial advantages of an aggregrated procurement approach, resulting in significantly reduced costs and tariffs.

Pricing

To obtain detailed information, including pricing and the Template RFT please visit our secure site: http://gn.gov.ie (only accessible to employees of public sector bodies that are connected to the Government Networks). A PDF version of the website is available on request from the Government Networks Team.

Duration

GN services and products are available from May 2007 onwards.

Scope of Services and Products

GN delivers a suite of converged voice, data and video services. GN has a modular structure, enabling agencies to take up services as they require them, and as their existing telecommunication supply arrangements dictate. The following table illustrates some of the services and products available to agencies connected to GN.

Service and Products Definition
GN-Connect The mandatory “GN-Connect” service provides the initial connection to GN and is the platform for all other GN services. Agencies may take more than one connection for resilience purposes.
Managed Services “Managed Services” are high-level services – e.g. DNS and Mail Relay services – that operate across the Core Network backbone and are managed centrally within the GN Core Network.
Data Services The “Data Services” comprise connectivity to other agencies, connectivity to the Internet, remote access connectivity for agency staff and other trusted third parties and basic application hosting services.
Voice Services The “Voice Services” comprise Fixed, Mobile and VoIP services which act as extension to, or replacement for agency based telephony solutions.
Video Services The “Video Services” comprise IP TV and Video Conferencing services.

Peered Carriers

Currently there are seven carriers peered with GN who can provide connectivity to agencies:

Peered Carriers
BT Government Network
Complete Government Network
eircom BIP service/eircom Metro Network
Magnet
Smart Telecom Government Network
UPC Government Network

As part of the Mobile Framework, Meteor, O2 and Vodafone are also peered with GN for both Voice and Data traffic. And as part of the Fixed & VOIP Framework, eircom, Magnet, UPC and Vodafone are peered with GN.

How to Procure a Connection to GN

GN is built on the concept of providing the most appropriate technologies and services through a multi-supplier sourcing strategy. Agencies use a GN “Peered” Carrier Network as the access mechanism to connect to the Core Network. The actual Peered Carrier selected by an Agency is decided on back of a public competitive tendering exercise and is usually determined by a number of factors including what access links are available in the Agency locality, the capacity needed and the level of availability required.

In order to procure a connection to Government Networks it is necessary to go through a public procurement exercise. To help agencies achieve the best possible service and pricing, a template Request For Tender (Template RFT) document is available on request from the Contract Manager.

To use the Template RFT agencies simply fill out a number of basic fields (name, locations, deadline, etc).

Once the Template RFT has been completed it should be published to http://www.etenders.gov.ie .

Agencies are encouraged to contact the Government Networks Section in the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform to discuss their needs and any special requirements in order that the appropriate service choices are made.

Payment/Invoicing

Payment and Invoicing arrangements will be agreed by the relevant Customer and the selected Carrier in each case.

Contact Government Networks Team

The Government Networks Team can be contacted with any queries:

Contact
Name: Ken Barclay
Address: CMOD, Department of Public Expenditure & Reform, Lansdowne House, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4
Phone: (01) 604 5018
Email: gn@gov.ie

Secure Site

To obtain detailed information, including pricing please visit our secure site:

http://gn.gov.ie

This secure site is only accessible by employees of public sector bodies that are connected to the Government Networks.  A PDF version of the website is available on request from the Contract Manager.