NEW Liberal Member for Western Victoria Beverly McArthur has voiced her support for G21’s plan to improve the internet connections at high schools across the Geelong region.
The Geelong Secondary Schools and Community Digital Learning Hub (GSSaCDLH), advocated for by G21 for nearly four years, would cost $4.5 million and see it tap into the existing AARNet network used by institutions including the CSIRO, Deakin University and Geelong Tech.
It would provide speeds of between 1 gigabyte and 100 gigabytes per second to every secondary school in the Geelong, Colac and Surf Coast municipalities – well in excess of the typical maximum speeds of on the National Broadband Network (NBN).
Speaking in Parliament last week, Ms McArthur said the Victorian Department of Education and Training had committed to “double current school internet speeds to 100 megabytes per second”, but “this is only equivalent to households connected to a premium NBN service.”
In a media statement released later, she said it was impossible for Labor to claim Victoria was “The Education State” when internet speeds “are totally inadequate in secondary schools”.
It is unacceptable that students can often only access the internet one class at a time.
“100mb per second does not enable students and teachers to use information sites, e-books or education platforms; stream online educational classes and events; participate in high-definition video conferencing; share resources between schools; or deliver the curriculum electronically.
“While Geelong Tech has full access to AARnet, most public school students attending course units at the Tech must return to their own schools’ inferior classroom internet which obviously restricts their learning capacity.”