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12 July 2001

High speed internet access for country schools

All students in government schools across New South Wales will have access to high speed internet access after the installation of a new satellite service.

Minister for Education and Training, John Aquilina, last week announced Cable and Wireless Optus as the successful tenderer for a four megabit satellite service.

This will give 171 schools in remote rural areas currently without access to high speed lines,fast, reliable connection by the end of term three.

Mr Aquilina said every government school has been connected to the internet since the end of 1996. "Most schools in New South Wales now have high speed, reliable and permanent ISDN connections to the Department of Education and Training's network," he said.

But for a few schools Telstra's inability to connect high speed lines has meant having to use a dial-up connection.

"This satellite technology will give schools fast,permanent and networked access to the world wide web and education intranet."

Mr Aquilina said the government will spend $4.5 million providing the service over the next two years. These country schools already have Optus Digital Television satellite dishes so the new service can be installed very quickly.

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