Local students prepare to enter digital world

A landmark contract between the Marshall Liberal Government and Telstra worth more than $80 million will see almost every government school in the state with a high-speed, fibre optic internet connection by mid-2020.

Member for Schubert Stephan Knoll said the project, announced at the end of 2018, was welcome news for South Australia and the Schubert electorate.

Once completed, the fibre optic network expansion could deliver internet speeds up to 1000 per cent faster than before.
“In today’s world, fast, reliable internet connections are critical,” Mr Knoll said.

“This expansion will not only allow the delivery of a world class education system, it will also put a fibre optic connection within reach of many small businesses.”

Mr Knoll visited Lyndoch Primary School today (Friday, March 22) to discuss what this upgrade would mean for the 120-student facility.

“Our local schools will, once this project is complete, have the ability to undertake more online learning and prepare for online NAPLAN testing,” he said.

“It will also help educators to make sure our kids are ready to work in an increasingly digital world.”

The project will be undertaken from within existing budgets and deliver internet speeds up to and beyond 1GB to 514 school sites – 98.8pc of all SA public schools.

The move will see thousands of kilometres of fibre optic cables installed right across SA and past the front doors of thousands of small businesses, public sector agencies, hospitals and independent schools, making high speed internet connection a viable reality in almost every town in SA.

Education Minister John Gardner said the educational opportunities resulting from the project were immense.

“This is a major building block for our aim to deliver the best education system in Australia,” Minister Gardner said.

“Our young people will be able to tap into a wealth of learning resources that would otherwise be beyond their reach, with opportunities to connect and collaborate with contemporaries, learning institutions and businesses from across the country and around the globe.”

It is expected that the network expansion will be completed by the middle of 2020.

The Education Department is working with Telstra to provide alternative fast internet solutions to the four schools too remote to connect to the expanded fibre optic network.