ICON (Intra Government Communications Network)

Government Network Services Branch

Government Network Services Branch (GNSB), within the Department of Finance (Finance), develops and supports the secure telecommunications needs of Australian governments.

GNSB supports government ministers and agencies by managing and operating secure, cost effective, innovative and practical telecommunications networks which build public sector capability and improve government administration and operations.

One of the key services that GNSB offers within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is the Intra Government Communications Network (ICON).

What is ICON

ICON is a secure point-to-point fibre connection between buildings in Canberra. These connections are speed and protocol independent. This means that agencies can determine the technology that best meets their requirements.

ICON has physical security accreditation to PROTECTED. Agencies considering using ICON must conduct a risk assessment to ensure that:

  • security controls are sufficient to protect agency information;
  • identified risks associated with specific technologies, operating environments, and business functions are effectively managed; and
  • any residual security risks are identified and accepted.

Since its inception, ICON has expanded to over 400 sites around the ACT. Over 80 agencies connect using 150,000 kilometres of fibre. Current estimates indicate the network carries up to 2 terabits per second over its pathways.

Where it all began

ICON commenced in 1991 when DFAT installed a cable between the John Gorton Building and York Park via the intervening government offices. At that time, teletype machines were connected via ICON links and data traffic was running at approximately 50-300 bits per second over a distance of 5 kilometres. Today, through a cooperative involving 88 government agencies, ICON has grown to 150,000 fibre kilometres throughout the Canberra region.

What other services does ICON provide?

As part of its service delivery model to the Commonwealth, ICON distributes Parliamentary Television on behalf of the Department of Parliamentary Services to approved agencies. ICON also carries the voice traffic for the Government Administrative Voice Network (GAVIN). GAVIN connects a government agency’s Private Automated Branch Exchange (PABX) to a central PABX that allows free local telephone calls between the connected agencies.

How can ICON help you?

ICON has many features and benefits, including:

  • significant cost-saving solutions compared to commercial carriers
  • voice, data, or video transfer between departments within the ACT
  • unmetered and unmonitored data carriage
  • ICON’s point-to-point links ensure the agency has all available bandwidth without sharing connections
  • a locked secure physical infrastructure to maintain its security accreditation.

Telecommunication services provided by GNSB are in accordance with procurement requirements under the Internet Based Network Connection (IBNC) Services Panel as part of the framework for the Australian Government Telecommunications Arrangements.

For further information, please contact the GNSB Client Service Centre on (02) 6215 1800 or email:icon@finance.gov.au


Last updated: 02 July 2015