Telstra has signed a $187 million deal with the Queensland Government to upgrade internet speeds for schools in the state.
The five-year deal will involve multiple stages of internet upgrades, aiming to boost average internet bandwidth speeds per student from 25Kbps per student today to 5Mbps per student by 2026.
Telstra said the upgrades aim to help students “take full advantage” of their digital and online learning resources, particularly those in rural and regional schools, promising connection speeds similar to those in Brisbane.
Telstra Enterprise chief customer officer John Ieraci said the project would enable the Queensland Government to “deliver world-class education opportunities” to Queensland students and local communities.
“We know that digital inclusion for school kids is one of the most important drivers when it comes to positive education outcomes,” 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.”
The upgrades will be progressively rolled out to 1258 state schools over the next 18 months, while 40 schools will be connected to fibre broadband for the first time.
“This extensive infrastructure investment will also deliver connectivity benefits to all other Queensland Government agencies and businesses, who will have access to the upgraded networks,” Ieraci added.
“Telstra is incredibly proud to play such an important role in the education of millions of kids right across Australia.”
In the announcement, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the deal was a win-win for state schools and their communities.
“We know how important the internet has become in our modern society, from our workplaces to our homes and in our schools for our children’s education and futures,” Palaszczuk said.
“This will ensure teachers have access to the latest digital technologies and tools for their classrooms: everything they need to deliver a world-class education.”