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AU: US$12M saved with National Telepresence System
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Monday, October 31, 2011
Focus: Internet Governance
Country: Australia
Created: Oct 31, 2011

The National Telepresence System (NTS) was established in 2009 in order to reduce the travel and consequent carbon emissions, fiscal costs and productivity losses associated with meetings of the Council of Australian Governments, Ministerial Council officials and other intergovernmental-related interactions.
 
After investing AU$24 million (US$ 25 million) on the NTS, Special Minister of State, Gary Gray said that the system was returning on the government’s investment much more rapidly than previously thought.

With the NTS in place, the Federal Government of Australia was able to achieve savings of AU$12 million (US$12.8 million) worth of travel costs, and has also been able to reduce carbon emissions by not having government officials travel to meetings in Canberra.

“We’re well ahead of where we thought we would be and that’s allowing us to think optimistically and expansively about the future of the system,” Special Minister Gray said in an official statement.

“The system was capable of preserving the robust political discussion of face-to-face contact between officials.”

“The capability allows a conversation which is not only clear, audible and engaging but it allows emotion to be brought into the room as well. You can have an argument over these things,” Gray said.

The telepresence system, uses Cisco’s telepresence video conferencing technology and runs over Telstra’s Next Internet Protocol network platform.

It is currently installed across 36 sites in seven commonwealth offices around Australia.

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