To effectively implement the tasks laid out in the E-Government Master Plan, a fast and efficient network is needed to interconnect government offices for coordinated and simplified public service.
We want a networked government that operates as a whole unit while at the same time addressing individual and independent concerns of the people it serves.
With GovNet, the delivery of services is expected to become faster and more efficient as government agencies become interconnected, their functions integrated, and their operations interoperable.
Major agencies in Manila and Cebu are now connected to a common wide area network. With regional government networks also being developed, a national broadband network is not far behind.
GovNet is part of a bigger network, the Philippine Research, Education, and Government Information Network (PREGINet), which is a pioneer in research and development network in the country and has been in existence since 2000.
GovNet was established to interconnect government agencies in the country to enable faster communication, better coordination, easier access to online services, and simplified processes. This is done through the aggregation of common government ICT resources and sharing of common services. Agencies connected to the GovNet through a redundant fiber optic backbone are able to reap the benefits of an effective ICT infrastructure, such as more efficient internet services.
The main benefit of GovNet to government agencies is lower costs of internet services and faster data transfers for government-to-government communications.
How GovNet Works
The diagram above shows the basic structure of the GovNet. Government agencies A to F are called Points of Presence (PoPs) and they are interconnected via 10 Gigabit fiber optic links. The completed interconnections of these PoPs serve as the backbone of the GovNet infrastructure. Each PoP has a number of government agencies, referred to as the nodes, connected to it. These nodes are provided with a 1 Gigabit fiber optic link to their corresponding PoP.
Once the Fiber Optic Cables (FOC) are installed, the IP network team will deploy active equipment (switches and media converters) to the agency connecting to GovNet. Prior to deployment, these pieces of equipment will have to undergo several testing to ensure that they are functional. The IP network team has created an isolated, test area patterned after GovNet, which gives them the opportunity to check whether these pieces of equipment are active. The schedule of deployment must be agreed upon by both the IP network team and the agency connecting to GovNet. PoPs are provided with a pre-configured switch to enable remote access to the switch. This is necessary so that the IP network team can configure the switch out-of-site.
For the nodes, the IP network team provides a media converter. No configuration is needed for the media converters since they are plug n’ play devices. Once the media converters are plugged, the network link is activated.
The team gives the agency requesting for GovNet an Acknowledgment Receipt, provided by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), once the active equipment have been deployed. After deployment, the team maintains a monitoring system that contains all the equipment deployed and other pertinent details, such as serial numbers, date of deployment, IP block given to the agency, and the agency where the equipment were deployed.
Before the team can consider the deployment successful, they need to perform various tests to the connectivity of the network. The team conducts iPerf testing to test the bandwidth, network throughput, and local transport. The threshold for minimal or negligible loss is less than 1%. The team also performs speed tests to check the outside block of GovNet. It is recommended that these active equipment be deployed in network rooms or data centers.
The diagram above shows how the IP network works. It can be seen that the nodes are dependent on their corresponding PoPs. The PoPs are dependent on the IP Network. The IP network is dependent on the Fiber Optic Cables.
Once the tests are completed and have been successful, the IP network team will continuously monitor the network. Through Cacti, they are able to monitor the utilization of the network, produce a summary of monthly utilization of agencies, and identify whether a node is up or down. This monitoring is necessary to maintain the effectiveness of the network and the active equipment.