While the chalkboard, or whiteboard in most cases these days, will always have a place in our classrooms, the keyboard is a great educational equaliser for students. That’s why we are significantly boosting New South Wales schools’ internet speeds and connecting some of the state’s most remote students to high-speed fibre optic cable.

Connectivity and access to modern education tools are vital to ensuring the future of education is delivered to our students. It can open new educational possibilities, broaden horizons, open up a richer curriculum and enhance student collaboration to create modern learning environments.

Since 2009, we’ve been working hard with the NSW Department of Education to connect the state’s 2,200plus schools to fibre optic cable. Now, under an extended partnership with the NSW Government we will soon achieve a special milestone – the last 12 mainland schools, all in remote parts of the state, will be hooked up to this high-speed solution. All up, we will have rolled out more than 5,200km of fibre across the state once this project is complete. To put it into perspective, that’s equivalent to three round trips between Sydney and Tweed Heads, making it one of the largest fibre networks in the world.

In addition, we will also be boosting internet speeds 10-fold on average for all NSW schools through a massive capacity upgrade across the state’s education network.

The twelve schools are Naradhan, Colo Heights, Weilmoringle, Louth, Enngonia, Clare, Booligal, Wanaaring, North Star, Upper Coopers, Wattle and MacDonald.

We know that digital inclusion, particularly for students, is a lead indicator for future employment opportunities. With this partnership, all students across NSW will have access to the amazing learning opportunities that quality, high speed connectivity brings, whether they live in Neutral Bay or North Star.

With faster connectivity, students will not only download websites and videos much faster, they’ll be able to video conference and collaborate. It also sets them up for future digital education tools such as augmented or virtual reality applications in the classroom.

We’re proud to be continuing this work, particularly when we hear firsthand from the young people who are accessing a whole new world of education, like the kids at Conargo Public School, in the state’s south west. They enjoyed a tour of our worksite when we were in town laying fibre, and now they’re enjoying its benefits. We look forward to delivering an even faster future for them.