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First Australian Schools Connect to AARNet's National Internet Backbone

  • 14 February, 2007 13:30

<p>Students and teachers now benefit from wider range of services and information at higher speeds than ever before</p>
<p>Sydney, Australia – 14 February 2007 – Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet) has connected the first three states and territories to its national high-capacity internet backbone, which was launched in September 2006. The ACT, Northern Territory and Independent Schools of NSW have all come online as part of the national education network, since the launch of the AARNet3 third-generation high-speed broadband connection.</p>
<p>AARNet and the Australian Government aim to link all Australian schools to provide equality of access to online educational resources. Launching AARNet3 on 14 September 2006, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, said, "Our challenge is to ensure that the capacity and use of this network is maximised, by working closely with the states and territories and educators to provide connections between their existing networks and AARNet3. This will provide superior access for teaching and learning resources that are not available via the commodity internet."</p>
<p>Chris Hancock, CEO, AARNet, said, “AARNet 3 is part of a wider plan to link all Australian schools and universities to a high-capacity research and education network. Any school that is already connected to an aggregational wide-area network such as the state-based education department networks can access the national backbone. Connection to the national backbone will give students and teachers access to services and information that they’ve never had before, from other states, territories and countries, without geographical constraints – and it will all be at the fastest speeds they’ve ever experienced.</p>
<p>“Because it has virtually unrestricted capacity, this network allows schools, universities and research organisations to exchange information more freely, which means they can collaborate and interact in a virtual environment, making delivery of courses much more flexible.”</p>
<p>Educational institutions connected to the national network gain access to resources such as Le@rning Federation (1), australianscreen online (2) and Education Network Australia (3) (EdNA) managed by education.au.</p>
<p>One of the first groups to take up access to the national network is Northern Territory Schools, comprising 200 government and non-government schools with 40,000 students.</p>
<p>Greg Moo, CIO, Northern Territory Schools said, “When the opportunity came up to connect to AARNet3, we leapt at it. One of the things the network allows us to do is to explore the remote area between Darwin and Alice Springs. We now have the ability to run video conferences and high demand interactive applications across that space.</p>
<p>“Our schools are particularly pleased. With our prior commercial ISP we were pushing our capacity constraints to the limit. AARNet3 allows at least a five-fold increase in capacity and is definitely more cost effective,” Moo said.</p>
<p>Frank Brooks, Director ICT, The Association of Independent Schools of NSW said, "AARNet’s national backbone allows students and teachers access to a whole new range of useful educational resources. With interconnectivity on the rise globally, access to information and interactive applications is crucial to providing high quality educational opportunities to young people.</p>
<p>“The recent connection of NSW independent schools’ wide area network ISONet (4) to AARNet3 provides the state’s independent schools with equality of access to materials and expertise regardless of physical location. It allows the schools to share resources and work collaboratively with universities and cultural institutions around the world.”</p>
<p>Worldwide, the AARNet 3 end-user client base comprises more than one million staff and students from universities and research organisations.</p>
<p>###</p>
<p>1. The Le@rning Federation initiative is a result of agreements by all education Ministers in Australia and New Zealand to collaborate in developing online curriculum content for all A/NZ schools and delivering it electronically to jurisdictions for the period 2001-2006.</p>
<p>2. australianscreen online is a web-based resource that offers free access to a vast range of Australian moving image and audio material drawn from the Australian film, television and radio industries. Excerpts from feature films, documentaries, newsreels, short films and animations, as well as radio broadcasts and musical recordings produced in Australia over the past 100 years, are be accessible online to users, irrespective of their geographic location, via Australia’s developing broadband network. The website draws on the collection of the National Film and Sound Archive <http:></http:> and the archives of the ABC <http:></http:> , SBS <http:></http:> , Film Australia <http:></http:> and the National Archives of Australia <http:></http:> , in partnership with the Curriculum Corporation <http:></http:> , through the Learning Federation <http:></http:> and AARNet <http:></http:> .</p>
<p>3. EdNA is a network of and for the Australian education and training community that supports and promotes the benefits of technology for education and training in Australia. EdNA is a joint initiative of the state and territory governments and the Australian Government through their education departments, to provide free news, resources, networks and online tools for educators.</p>
<p>4. ISONet is the independent schools online network. A managed wide area network developed by The Association of Independent Schools of NSW <http:></http:> to ensure independent schools have access to the benefits of participation in an education WAN and connection to AARNet3.</p>
<p>About AARNet</p>
<p>AARNet Pty Ltd (APL) is the company that operates Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet). It is a not-for-profit company limited by shares. The shareholders are 37 Australian universities and the CSIRO. AARNet provides high-capacity leading edge Internet services for the tertiary education and research sector communities and their research partners. AARNet serves more than one million end users who access the network through local area networks at member institutions. For further information, please visit: www.aarnet.edu.au <http:></http:> .</p>
<p>Media contact:</p>
<p>Rachel York
MAX Australia
02 9954 3492
rachel.york@maxaustralia.com.au</p>

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