"Quantum improvement" in Vic schools IT upgrade

The $20 million upgrade of IT equipment in Victorian state schools has been a "quantum" improvement, according to a Department of Education, Employment and Training (DEET) general manager.

Paul Doherty, general manager for the IT division of Victoria's DEET, said the implementation of 2000 3Com Superstack II 3300 switches, and the upgrade of PC equipment in 1700 Victorian state schools was close to completion.

"The upgrade is quite substantial. Previously the schools had hubs and now they have a fully switched network."

Current Hewlett Packard desktops, IBM servers and Lexmark printers have also been installed in schools as part of the revamp.

Doherty said the department usually undertook such a hardware upgrade every three years.

3Com, which won the $1.5 million contract with the department for the installation of the switches, has implemented 1800 switches for the administration LAN in schools since October last year.

The Cases (School Administration) active local area network (LAN) product, records and reports student performance in Victorian schools, Technical and Further Education colleges and agencies of the departmentThe vendor has also been chosen as the preferred supplier for the department under an initial contract of two years. The Catholic Education Office is also considering such an appointment.

Doherty said there were about 100,000 network points across all Victorian schools, which are connected to a wide area network.

"Within Victorian schools we have a network point-to-student ratio of one to five and receive about 17 million Internet requests a day."

Some 300 department technicians maintain the IT equipment in schools, technical colleges and agencies of the department.

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