Shared service approach delivers another win for Bay councils.

Monday 16 August 2010, 7:57AM
By Tauranga City Council


New fibre IT network to reduce operating costs and improve service delivery.

BOPLASS Ltd (Bay of Plenty Local Authority Shared Services) is delivering another win for its shareholding councils with the completion of a 1Gbps fibre network linking the major councils in the region.

BOPLASS Ltd Chairman and Western Bay of Plenty District Council CEO, Glenn Snelgrove says the regional IT network is financed by the partner councils and consists of a combination of Council-owned and leased fibre.

The leased fibre is part of a new fibre link provided by FX Networks Ltd and connects councils in Tauranga, Rotorua, Whakatane and Taupo. Until FX Networks entered the market this service was unavailable to the councils at a price that was affordable. In addition a microwave link is planned from Whakatane to Opotiki and future links are planned for Kawerau and Gisborne. It is hoped that all councils in the group will be linked within six months.

“The network has provided immediate operational benefits and, it provides opportunities for data storage management, server consolidation and application sharing. BOPLASS have also be come a participating agency in the One.Govt project which links government agencies throughout the country and this has enabled them to get competitive pricing on the leased part of the network.”

Snelgrove says while BOPLASS is focused on getting ‘runs on the board’ early through shared council IT infrastructure, the introduction of the new network into the Bay of Plenty could provide a competitive alternative to existing telecommunication service providers over the longer term. It also supports the Government’s broadband objectives by supporting the introduction of a competitive alternative for fibre linking these Bay of Plenty centres.

“While it’s still early days, BOPLASS believes the new fibre could have a positive impact on the cost, capacity and reach of telecommunication services to residents, schools and health facilities throughout the Bay of Plenty,” says Glenn.

BoPLASS Ltd, established in 2007, is made up of Tauranga City Council, Taupo, Western Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Whakatane, Opotiki, Kawerau and Gisborne District Councils and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.