IBM says it has been awarded a services contract by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training to implement wireless connectivity across 463 secondary schools. The project comes under the Australian Federal Government’s Digital Education Revolution initiative.
Under the contract, valued at AU$70m, IBM will roll out secure, scalable wireless connectivity at public secondary and central schools, providing more than 200,000 students and around 25,000 teachers with enhanced teaching and learning opportunities.
The solution, according to IBM, will connect wireless-enabled notebooks via a centrally managed network, providing students with increased access to information and opportunities for collaboration, and teachers with the tools they need to deliver education.
The New South Wales Minister for Education and Training, Verity Firth, said the network, to be delivered over the next 12 months, will support access to learning resources, school resources, and the internet.
“The way kids learn is going to be transformed … we are not tying students to their desks — learning activities using online resources including the internet can take place in classrooms or the library,” said Ms. Firth.
In addition to the design and build of an Aruba-based wireless solution that leverages the Department’s existing investment, IBM will provide the Department with project management, network configuration, and roll-out expertise, enabling most secondary schools to take advantage of the new technology before the end of the year.
To achieve this, implementation teams will be set up across regional and metropolitan New South Wales creating approximately 100 contractor roles during the course of the network deployment. Approximately two-thirds of these implementation teams will operate outside of Sydney, and will comprise locally sourced skills wherever possible, informs IBM.
IBM will also work with equipment vendors to provide the Department with a single point of contact and seamless implementation, the company says.