Centrelink to offer public Net access with new national WLAN

Centrelink has issued a tender for a wireless LAN that says its clients will be able to surf the Net from its offices, along with new self-service facilities.

Centrelink will construct a wireless LAN across its fixed and mobile offices and is considering “possible use of customer equipment for some self service tasks” and allowing Centrlink clients to “perform to on line transactions, retrieve information, research and access their personal Internet areas such as banking and email.”

Customer equipment is elsewhere described as including “PDAs and tablets. ” The tender also posits Centrelink using mobile technology within the organisation’s offices to assist customers. The network is also expected to allow the organisation to place more self-service terminals in its offices.

The tender states:

“Centrelink is seeking to introduce an 802.11 wireless local area network (LAN) to provide mobility to Centrelink Customer Service Officers in servicing the public within the immediate vicinity of a Centrelink Office. The introduction of this Wireless LAN (WLAN) will also be available to the public so that public laptops and wireless devices, either provided by Centrelink or owned by the public, can be used in a self service capacity allowing the public to directly engage with publicly accessible Centrelink and other Government Web sites and systems from within a Centrelink office. Centrelink personnel will be available to assist the public in performing self service activities.

The technology required from the WLAN is to include coverage, capacity, performance, and capability. Capability is to include the introduction of 802.11n to ensure the wireless LAN is adequate to meet Centrelink’s needs over the next three plus years ...”

The organisation is therefore seeking an integrator to:

  • In consultation with Centrelink IT teams produce an agreed design for the national Wireless LAN network.
  • Supply wireless access point infrastructure, Wireless LAN controllers, management tools, technical training, and Level 3 / 4 support over a three year term
  • Install the supplied equipment in accordance with the agreed design
  • Document the national Wireless LAN network and produce Standard Operating Procedures to assist Centrelink in the support and maintenance of this network.

Centrelink outlines the likely uses of the WLAN in this table:

  Fixed Office Mobile Office Remote Access

Centrelink Users

Improve queue management by enabling roaming customer liaison officers operating independent of fixed office infrastructure.

Freedom of movement within larger offices, including full network connectivity within meeting and conference rooms.

Mobile office staff able to operate from within nearby buildings.

Increased effectiveness of emergency deployments due to the reduction in requirements for temporary site cabling.

Improve service delivery by providing for highly mobile staff to operate with full functionality without the need to deploy any office infrastructure.

Government Users and Business Partners

Enable users from other Government agencies and business partners the flexibility to work in different locations within the office with the full functionality of their Centrelink network connection. Enable users from other Government agencies and business partners the flexibility to work in different locations within the office with the full functionality of their Centrelink network connection.

Not Applicable

General Public

Flexible self service capabilities from improved placement options for self-service kiosks and possible use of customer equipment for some self service tasks. Flexible self service capabilities from Centrelink provided wireless kiosks and possible use of customer equipment for some self service tasks where transmission permits. 

Not Applicable

 Other interesting features of the tender include:

  • A rating of “highly desirable” given to access points possessing power-over-Ethernet features
  • Insistence on RADIUS authentication
  • Protection from honeypot, man-in-the-middle and denial of service all mentioned as “highly desirable”

The tender also details the organisation’s existing WLAN infrastructure, naming Cisco and Aruba as current suppliers.

 

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