IBM has won an $8.5 million contract to provide Cisco wireless access points to Victorian government schools.
The new contract will see 14,100 WAPs deployed to expand wi-fi capacity in all Victorian government schools and address the growing numbers of student computer in recent years.
"This contract is necessary to support Victorian government schools in providing students and staff with fast and reliable access to digital resources supporting engaging learning programs," an education department spokesperson said.
More contracts such as this should be expected, with $16.4 million from the 2017/18 Budget having been allocated to improve bandwidth and digital connectivity for students in rural and regional Victoria. A total of 347 regional schools are included in the digital education improvement initiative.
This year's budget also included $67.9 million for "better IT support for schools and students" across Victoria.
IBM has been a gold Cisco partner for many years and, according to Cisco, both organisations have held an extensive strategic relationship in their own right with the Victorian Department of Education (DET), with Cisco providing wireless capability to Victorian public schools for the past decade.
A Cisco spokesperson told CRN: "IBM has been a strong Cisco partner at every step in this process of providing such capabilities, whilst offering true differentiation in their support of DET and a good model for working with schools particularly in terms of distribution, installation, implementation and support."
In May 2016, IBM won a $7.8 million contract with DET Victoria to provide Cisco networking hardware to 1500 Victorian government schools as part of a five-year contract.
The project included a refresh of 1702 network switches, 1676 wireless LAN controllers and networking equipment for 15 new Public Private Partnership schools.