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VoIP Deployment by Energy Department Could’ve Been Better, Report Says
Posted at 4:34 p.m. on July 2
An audit recently released by the Energy Department’s inspector general on the department’s efforts to deploy Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone networks states that the department deployed “separate, potentially duplicative” systems. And it gives a couple of pretty detailed and interesting accounts of situations it came across.
For example, it looked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Hanford Site, which are in the same geographic area (southeast Washington state) and before 2007, certain PNNL buildings were on Hanford’s telephone system, according to the report.
Here’s what the report had to say about what happened in this case:
According to Hanford officials, when the site was planning its VoIP deployment, it invited PNNL to join; however, officials stated that PNNL declined. PNNL officials commented that, subsequent to 2007, the site decided to implement its own VoIP network because it believed that moving to its own system permitted process improvements that better achieved objectives related to functional capacity, security, reliability and operational cost requirements. However, much, if not all, of what PNNL hoped to achieve could have been accomplished by consolidating its needs with the Hanford and implementing a joint VoIP network, thus avoiding duplicative efforts.
The report goes on to state:
The Hanford system was able to support approximately 22,000 lines of service – only about half of which were being used. The PNNL VoIP system was estimated to provide up to 7,000 lines of service. Proposed funding for the new PNNL network totaled approximately $2.8 million, while the Hanford VoIP initiative was completed at just under $7 million. Office of Environmental Management officials noted that the capacity of the Hanford VoIP network was designed for future growth to accommodate other Office of Environmental Management sites.
“While we agree with management’s statement, we continue to maintain that additional capacity could have been used to meet PNNL’s needs had the sites better coordinated,” the report goes on to state.