Qld Govt hails its IT cost cuts

The Queensland Government is patting itself on the back for orchestrating lower broadband telecommunication costs and cutting public sector software procurement costs.

Wholesale prices of broadband services between Brisbane and Cairns have dropped by two-thirds, according to a progress report on government information and communication technology initiatives.

The report traces the improvement to establishment of the Reef Network, which created a second fibre-optic backbone between the two centres.

It also credits a whole-of-government desktop software pact with Microsoft for saving Queensland taxpayers $57 million over the past four years.

ICT activity in the State Government's 26 departments and agencies last financial year hit record levels, according to Innovation and Information Economy Minister Paul Lucas.

Other highlights listed in the report were:

* rollout of the ICT Skills Training and Role Models Program, assisting 5000 Queenslanders to develop ICT skills.

* development of the i.lab technology incubator to assist startups, creating more than 70 jobs and 13 internships.

* release of the state's first e-commerce strategy in January 2001.

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