Bush schools go satellite

Internet access for some of the state's most remote students will be greatly improved with the NSW Government's signing of an estimated $15m contract with Optus to deliver an enhanced satellite service for up to five years. 

The Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, said the introduction of the enhanced satellite service will provide the state's most isolated schools and students with opportunities to connect and collaborate like never before.

"It will give them a chance to share in the educational benefits of contemporary web-based tools and give us a chance to close the gap that currently exists between the city and the bush in this regard," Mr Piccoli said.

Mr Piccoli said the satellite upgrade followed on from a major body of work under the department's Connected Classrooms Program. A key objective of this initiative was to give all schools and TAFE campuses high-speed broadband links via symmetric, scalable fibre.

A small number of NSW public schools could not be reached with fibre under the Connected Classrooms program.  The 22 schools, six TAFE campuses and 165 homesteads currently enrolled in the department's distance education program would benefit from the enhanced satellite service.

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