The internet access deficit which has afflicted Australia’s rural population is on its way to being resolved starting with students in the bush.
NBN Co’s ‘multicast’ technology provided over the nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite service aims to provide students with the ability to share large files and participate in high-resolution virtual classrooms from home without interfering with their standard broadband connection.
The technology will be trialled over the next few months in 15 locations across the Northern Territory including the School of The Air in Alice Springs, Katherine and Ludmilla.
NBN Co will work with the schools to test different learning scenarios and ensure the technology can be optimised ahead of the national product launch, which is scheduled for mid-2018.
Peter Gurney, nbn Local General Manager said: “The Sky Muster™ satellite service multicast trial is part of NBN Co’s ongoing commitment to increase the opportunities which access to fast broadband can provide to rural and remote parts of Australia.
“This new technology represents a significant step change and should enhance the streaming experience of live classrooms and file transfers between teachers and students.
“In the next few months, we will work closely with the Northern Territory Department of Education on the ways the technology can help to close the education gap between rural students and their urban counterparts. We will also get insights and technical feedback from teachers and students on the trial to help ensure we are refining the service.
“This trial represents an exciting time for rural school students and we look forward to being able to make the technology available across the country in mid-2018.”
Wendy Hicks, Federal President of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association said: “ICPA welcomes this innovative trial and thanks nbn for their dedication to improving rural and remote education. We hope that this technology will transform how children in the bush learn and engage with their teachers.
“It will mean children in some of the most isolated locations in Australia should now be able to interact with their teachers, many who are located thousands of kilometres away, and the benefits of this face to face, video style learning will really help with their education experience and outcomes.”
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