QLD student laptop rollout benefits from network upgrade

By Ry Crozier on Jan 17, 2009 7:58 AM
Filed under Communications

The Queensland Department of Education has confirmed the continued expansion of its network will benefit students that receive laptops under the Federal Government's digital education revolution initiative.

Earlier this week, 3com said that it had extended its relationship with the Department of Education, Training and the Arts (DETA) in Queensland for five years, plus an option for three one-year extensions.

The vendor, which had previously sold its products to the Department via a master contractor, CDM, put a multi-million dollar value on the new contract.

The new arrangement is understood to be non-exclusive.

3com’s vice president and general manager for Asia Pacific, Peter Chai, told iTnews earlier this week that the ‘objective of increasing the number of laptops in schools could increase the need for higher capacity IT equipment’.

“3com is obviously supplying that equipment but in terms of a direct correlation [with the digital education revolution], what the government tends to do and the amount of business in it for us isn’t specified,” said Chai.

This afternoon, a spokesperson for Education Queensland has confirmed the continued network upgrade ‘is not in response to the Federal Government’s digital education revolution initiative’.

“However, additional computers in schools will naturally use this core connectivity infrastructure,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the department ‘has the option to use all of the 3com range of networking equipment including routers, switches, wireless technology, IP telephony and IP video equipment’.

“This equipment will be used within schools to enhance our student and staff connectivity to the outside world and wider learning opportunities,” said the spokesperson.

“This equipment and supplier arrangement is a continuation of the department’s statewide ICT infrastructure management.

“The department has continued standardisation on 3Com active equipment for a number of reasons, including interoperability and compatibility with existing equipment in schools, backward compatibility when new technologies are introduced and the existing high levels of expertise within the department for these standardised products,” the spokesperson for Education Queensland said.

3com said some of the products available to DETA would include the S7900E modular core switches, 5500 stackable switches, the VCX Connect SIP-based VoIP platform, wireless switch controllers and 802.11n access points.

The Federal Government's digital education revolution initiative aims to put a laptop into the hands of secondary school students nationwide.
 
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