Feds cutting cords on 80K landlines with $176M VoIP Telus contract

Phone

The federal government is overhauling the desktop communications tools used by thousands of public servants across the National Capital Region under a massive multi-year deal with Canadian telecom firm Telus.

Shared Services Canada, the federal government’s lead IT agency, said late last week it had awarded a seven-year, $176-million contract to Telus for network-based workplace communication services, including VoIP telephone, instant messaging and desktop videoconferencing tools.

Under the agreement, SSC – which is tasked with modernizing the federal government’s IT infrastructure – will replace more than 80,000 legacy landlines with VoIP services, adding to the more than 100,000 lines already in use.

SSC told OBJ that the “majority” of the existing VoIP lines are in the National Capital Region and that a detailed migration plan for the legacy lines would be developed in the coming months.

While the federal government says it expects to save money through the initiative, a spokesperson declined to put a precise dollar figure on the savings in a written response to questions.

“While efficiencies are expected to be realized through the modernization to VoIP, the primary objective is to ensure service continuity through the improved reliability of VoIP services and to introduce enhanced functionalities,” Frédérica Dupuis said.