WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- Federal, state, and local agencies could reap savings of $4.5 billion annually by making calls over the Internet or using similar technology, according to a study being released by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, or AdTI.
The white paper is the product of eight months of research by a team of Tocqueville staff and associates. Researchers based their findings on contact with more than 300 federal, state, and local agencies about their current telephone costs. The paper compares these costs with reports on several dozen case studies on government agencies, who reported savings of between 25% and 60% from conversion to Voice Over Internet Protocol, or "VOIP."
"The revenue savings from a government-wide VoIP implementation would assist law enforcement, health care, and other cash-strapped programs serving the public," said AdTI President Kenneth Brown.
The study also recommends greater transparency in the way telephone companies charge the government for service, and government agencies report those charges to taxpayers and competitors. "One thing that hampers all sides in the debate is the extent to which information about telephone charges is relatively opaque," said Brown. "Many state and local governments are transparent, but some are not. The federal government actually has the least transparency. There needs to be a broader, more open discussion about the tens of billions of dollars government spends annually on telephone service."
The paper will be available to the general public on October 25 through the Tocqueville web site, www.adti.net. For advance copies, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexis de Tocqueville Institution Ryan Voorhis 202 437 7431 Ken Brown 202 437 7435