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The Tasmanian Department of Police and Emergency Management has signed a three-year contract with iiNet for the provision of managed Internet services over the NBN.

iiNet has been providing Tasmania's Department of Police and Emergency Management with network services since 2010, and the relationship has been extended with the decision to award iiNet a contract to connect the LANs within Tasmanian police stations to the state government's core network.

More than half of Tasmania's police stations are scheduled to be connected via the NBN by 2014.

The deal includes the provision of DSL connections as a backup to the NBN.

"Given the nature of our work, we couldn't afford for things to go wrong, so iiNet worked with us to trial the upgrades while still providing backup DSL connections," said Todd Crawford, the Department's deputy director of corporate services.

"This meant we could take advantage of the technology's speed and efficiency, while having the assurance of the backup network. This provided a crucial level of comfort during the transition phase."

Mr Crawford added "This trial process highlights how government agencies can have access to new technologies, while mitigating potential risks."

Government and Tasmania Police spokespeople were also enthusiastic.

"The NBN will fundamentally change the way that Australians are able to communicate and interact," said David O'Byrne, Minister for Innovation, Science and Technology. "We're keen to see how we can take full advantage of the opportunities it offers, and give our police and emergency management officers the best technology available to support them in the work they do."

Richard Cowling, Tasmania Police northern district commander, said "The NBN is already proving to reduce the time it takes our staff to complete online tasks, has increased the efficiency and speed of sharing information and will ultimately allow our officers to be more mobile and spend more time on the ground in the community."

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.

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