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Telstra to deliver faster internet for QLD schools

By Shannon Williams
Thu 31 Mar 2022

State school students across Queensland will now have faster internet speeds, following a new $187 million, five-year deal between Telstra and the Queensland Government.

Under the agreement, average internet bandwidth speeds per student will be increased in multiple stages from 25Kbps per student today to 5Mbps per student by 2026 200 times current speeds.

This investment will ensure all students can take full advantage of the digital and online learning resources available to them particularly improving internet quality in rural and regional schools, whose connection speeds will be equivalent to those in Brisbane.

Telstra enterprise chief customer officer John Ieraci said the project will 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," he says.

"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," Ieraci explains.

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," she says.

"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."
 
The significant bandwidth speed increase will be progressively rolled out to 1,258 state schools over the next 18 months and around 40 schools will be connected to fibre 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," says Ieraci.

The announcement between Telstra and the Queensland Government follows contracts with every other Australian State to upgrade bandwidth to schools.

"Telstra is incredibly proud to play such an important role in the education of millions of kids right across Australia," Ieraci says.

Earlier this year, Telstra announced a $100 million deal with Australia and New Zealand's smart utility infrastructure provider, Intellihub, that will see Telstra provide up to 4.1 million IoT SIMs over the next decade.

It is Telstra's most extensive IoT deal in terms of value and the number of connected devices, and could nearly double the number of devices connected to the company's IoT network.

Telstra has just ticked over 5 million devices now connected to its IoT network, a new milestone for Australia's largest IoT network with around four million square kilometres of NB-IoT coverage and about three million square kilometres of LTE-M coverage. 

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