The University of South Australia last week announced 3Com won a $3 million contract to install an Ethernet network across five metropolitan campuses.
The deal is set to replace a 15-year-old network infrastructure across 50 university buildings incorporating three Adelaide city sites and its rural campus at Whyalla.
The university is to roll out a 100Mbit/sec backbone network with 10Mbit/sec switched Ethernet to the desktop to cater for existing demand and allow it to migrate to Gigabit Ethernet or ATM in the future.
John Lockwood, SA University's director of information technology services, said the university is planning to make this latest upgrade last 10 years.
"If we consider ATM to be appropriate at some time in the future, then this can be readily incorporated," he said.
Due for completion in February 1999, the network is designed to provide connectivity for 3200 desktops using UTP Category 5 cabling. Integration partner Anixter is to supply 3Com equipment.
Lockwood said the network is a "key objective" for the university for 1998-99 as it supports most of the institution's "core functions", such as Internet and e-mail access for distance education.
"Other technical features we were looking for included the ability to separate student from staff activity on the network for security reasons," he said.