Staff and students at the University of New England (UNE) Taree Study Centre on the New South Wales Mid North Coast now have access to ultra high-speed broadband internet through AARNet, Australia’s national research and education network. A new AARNet link connects the UNE Taree Study Centre to the main UNE campus in Armidale, supporting collaboration, teaching, learning and research and opening the door to more digital education opportunities for people living in the region.
UNE staff and distance education students dropping into the study centre will have access to a high-speed broadband network connection and wireless network access service, as well as computers, videoconferencing facilities and support staff.
The project involved divers laying cable under the Manning River in order to bring the AARNet network to Taree. UNE is not the only institution to benefit from AARNet fibre running through the area. The University of Newcastle’s Department of Rural Health Taree campus is also connected to the network and TAFEs, schools, hospitals and other institutions involved in research and education will be able to connect at speeds comparable to those of metropolitan universities.
The completion of the installation of the new Taree link follows the completion of the installation of 310 kilometres of optical fibre for UNE in inland Northern New South Wales last year. That link, between Armidale and Narrabri via Tamworth, is providing UNE and a growing number of other research and education institutions with access to the network services and digital technologies they need to compete in the digital age.
AARNet CEO, Chris Hancock says regional universities are playing a vital role as ‘anchor tenants’ for AARNet’s high-speed network infrastructure in regional Australia.
“Bringing AARNet to a regional campus reduces the impact of distance and the isolation and disadvantage it can bring by also enabling TAFEs and other regional education and research institutions to access the network and reap the benefits of transformative digital technologies. This helps build sustainable communities around Australia’s great regional institutions,” he says.
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