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Telstra picks up AU$187m contract to upgrade Queensland school internet

Internet speeds at more than 1,200 state schools are expected to be 200 times faster.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

A newly announced AU$187 million five-year deal between Telstra and the Queensland government will see connectivity upgrades rolled out to 1,258 state schools over the next 18 months.

"This investment will mean internet speeds across every single one of our 1,258 state schools will be 200 times faster as well as faster speeds for their communities," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

"This will ensure teachers and students have access to the latest digital technologies and tools for their classrooms: everything they need for a world-class education."

Under the agreement, the average internet bandwidth speeds per student will increase from 25Kbps to 5Mbps by 2026. The pair added that around 40 schools will also be connected to fibre optic for the first time, while next generation satellites will be used to deliver faster internet where terrestrial options are less practical.

"We know that digital inclusion for school kids is one of the most important drivers when it comes to positive education outcomes," Telstra enterprise chief customer office John Ieraci said.

"As a result of these upgrades, students from even the most remote parts of Queensland will have access to quality, high speed connectivity, and will get to enjoy all the opportunities that come with it."

This latest announcement follows similar contracts Telstra has signed with other states to upgrade bandwidth to schools, including New South Wales and Western Australia

Elsewhere, Optus, together with Iota, ETS Electrical Services, and GreenBe, will work with the Toowoomba Regional Council over the next four years to deploy 68,000 new smart water metres to help improve water conservation,

The deployment, according to Optus, will leverage its NB-IoT network, Iota's devices and advanced metering infrastructure platform, and GreenBe's user experience platform, while ETS Deployment Services will be responsible for bringing it all together.

The metres are expected to deliver real-time water usage data, provide early leak detection warnings for residents in the Toowoomba region, as well as enable residents to identify which activities are causing high water consumption.

"Essentially, this means that council will be able to operate the water network more efficiently and residents will be able to monitor their own water usage effectively which will provide cost savings to both the resident and to Council," Toowoomba Regional Council Water and Waste Committee Chair Councillor Rebecca Vonhoff said.

Roll out of the metres is scheduled to be completed before mid-year, following testing and fine-tuning by local community members in the second quarter of 2022. 

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