2005 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1500 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Nixon
Telecommunications Services (language only)

Item 465 #1h

Item 465 #1h

Virginia Information Technologies Agency

Page 421, after line 48, insert:
"C.  The agency shall adopt requirements and standards for the acquisition of converged voice, data and video communications services acquired by the Commonwealth and its agencies and institutions.  These requirements and standards should conform to international industry standards to the maximum extent possible and include, at a minimum, standards for security, reliability, manageability, accessibility, quality of service and 911.  The agency shall then develop and issue a Request for Proposals to provide the Commonwealth with a statewide contract specifically for converged voice, data and video telecommunication services.  The resultant contract shall become the standard for the acquisition of all converged telecommunications services by the Commonwealth and its agencies and institutions.  In the event that additional contracts are used to acquire converged telecommunications services, they must adhere to the requirements and standards documented in the scope of this contract.  Such converged communications services contracts shall include a defined scope and a list of requirements specifically designed for converged communications services."

(This amendment directs VITA to adopt converged communications services standards and to procure such services separately from traditional telecommunications services. Converged communications services are an emerging area offering the Commonwealth benefits, but also presenting potential pitfalls. For example, it is generally understood that the Internet presents data protection challenges. Converged communications use the Internet, turning voice into data and, in so doing, expose voice conversations to some of the same risks as data transmission. It is therefore important for the Commonwealth to define the appropriate security standards for such applications and ensure that all acquired systems meet these standards.)