Queensland Uni giving schools the quickest Internet in the land

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Queensland Uni giving schools the quickest Internet in the land

The University of Queensland is paving a high-speed broadband revolution for school communities with a new network that allows them to connect to the internet at a speed of one gigabit a second (Gbps).

The service, dubbed UQSchoolsNet, extends the reach of the University’s not-for-profit ISP network to connect schools in an effort to increase collaboration and provision the use of bandwidth intensive applications such as high-definition video conferencing, said Nick Tate, director of information technology at the University of Queensland.

“We’ve seen many schools with poor connections to each other and to universities where there are lots of resources such as electronic libraries they can use,” Tate said.

“We noticed that many of our fibre-optic cables that run to Unis go past schools, one of those was Ipswich Girls' Grammar School, and so we thought that was a useful starting point.”

By wholesaling its Internet services from AAPT, the University enabled its high-speed link to Ipswich Girls' Grammar School using dark fibre.

Now, with the network infrastructure extension between the University of Queensland and Ipswich Girls' Grammar School complete, the school is ready to switch on its new Internet speeds this Friday.

The network will increase the speed of the school's Internet connection to 100Mbps, which is 50 times its current speed.

Once a two-month testing period is complete, Ipswich Girls' Grammar School will then increase its connection speed to 1Gbps, making it the fastest school Internet connection in the southern hemisphere.

The high-speed connection will pave the way for a slew of new applications including: Voice over IP phone services; managed network services; and federated wireless access through Eduroam, which is a global initiative that provides internet access to students and teachers visiting university campuses.

Tate also expected the new link to open up a new opportunity in providing students with greater computer access through the use of Virtual PCs -- using servers to run PCs in a thin client environment.

Tate said the University of Queensland would look to roll out the UQSchoolsNet service to schools in a cluster by cluster basis once it is formally launched at the end of May.
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