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Top marks for WA school connectivity


Public school students throughout Western Australia will soon have access to high-speed connectivity under an extension of the partnership between Telstra and the WA Department of Education.

Telstra today welcomed the announcement by the WA Education Minister Sue Ellery, who said that students could experience on average an increase in data speeds of 20 times across the state via a massive boost to bandwidth.

The $130 million project will enable more than 350,000 students and teachers at 766 schools with a significant network bandwidth boost, which is an increase of up to 200 times for some regional WA schools.

“Student demand to access learning materials online has more than doubled over the past 18 months. This agreement means more than 97 percent of public schools will receive an average bandwidth increase of more than 20 times, with many receiving much higher increases. It will provide modern and immersive learning opportunities for students and bring equity in bandwidth between metropolitan and regional schools and their communities,” Minister Ellery said.

Telstra WA Head of State, Malcolm De Silva, said the project would deliver world-class connectivity and enable WA students with enriched educational opportunities and greater learning beyond classrooms.

“We know that the future is digital. As the nation’s digital economy continues to grow, so does the need for our kids to be able to navigate the online world, access the latest tools and learn vital STEM skills to set them up for the future.

“We’re thrilled to be working in partnership with the WA Department of Education to help ensure that all students will have access to the amazing learning opportunities that quality, high speed connectivity delivers.”

Telstra will also invest $30 million to upgrade local exchanges and backhaul capacity - particularly in regional towns - which will benefit the entire local community and other local government agencies.

The project will commence in early 2021 and will be progressively deployed.

The deal with the WA Department of Education follows similar deals with the NSW Department of Education and SA Department of Education.

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