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UQ gives Queensland school 1Gbps Internet

The University of Queensland is playing broadband Santa Claus to nearby schools, with its new service UQSchoolsNet.
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Written by Suzanne Tindal on

The University of Queensland is playing broadband Santa Claus to nearby schools, with its new service UQSchoolsNet.

The service will connect schools to the University's high-speed network by extending the university's existing infrastructure from its campuses.

The first school to benefit will be Ipswich Girl's Grammar School, which will also act as a pilot for the scheme. "In this case we had a fibre network going past the door," said Nick Tate, director of information technology at the University of Queensland.

The university linked the school up to the fibre with the help of Pipe Networks.

On Friday, the school will start using the network for Internet access through UQConnect, a not-for-profit education ISP. The network will increase the speed of the school's Internet connection to 100Mbps, 50 times its current speed.

After a two-month testing period, the speed will be increased to the planned 1Gbps, making it the school with the fastest Internet connection in the southern hemisphere. The cost for the connection will be less than the school was previously paying, according to Tate.

With 1Gbps, computer labs will be able to use a thin client to operate instances of desktops from servers in the University, Tate said.

"You can reduce costs a lot if you are consolidated," Tate said, adding maintenance costs for the simple appliances required to run the virtual PCs will be low.

The current pilot for Ipswich Girls Grammar is not taking much of University of Queensland's IT people's time, he said, but as more schools are added "it would be a chargeable service".

The schools will also be able to take part in federated wireless access, the sharing of wireless access between Universities similar to Eduroam, a group of 400 universities in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Europe which allow their members to use wireless Internet on their campuses.

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