Telstra and NSW Government sign $280m broadband deal

More than 4500 kilometres of optic fibre will connect more than 2400 educational facilities across the state

The NSW government has signed a $280 million deal with Telstra for the rollout of an optic fibre network to public schools and TAFE institutes.

More than 4500 kilometres of optic fibre will connect more than 2400 educational facilities across the state as part of the four-year contract.

In a statement, NSW minister for education and training, Verity Firth, claimed Telstra said the network would be "the largest in Australia and one of the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere".

"A flexible system means bandwidth provided to schools can be increased or decreased to meet temporary spikes in demand as well as growth or declines in the student population," Firth said.

"This massive program builds on the NSW Government's $158 million Connected Classrooms program and supports the Commonwealth Government's $2.1 billion Digital Education Revolution."

The news comes a day after Telstra said it will launch Australia’s fastest cable broadband network in Melbourne on December 1 in a move to increase speed and bandwidth for multiple users within households.

The upgrade of the telco's hybrid fibre coaxial broadband network will be able to provide download capacities of up to 100Mbps and increase upload capacities to 2Mbps for nearly 1 million homes, the telco claims.

The $280 million deal also comes in the midst of negotiations between Telstra and the Federal Government over its network assets and whether it will vend them into NBN Co as part of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The NBN is planned as a fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) optical fibre network – the same technology being rolled out in the new NSW and Telstra deal.

The Federal Government has also recently made a push to force the separation of Telstra's wholesale and retail arms. While Telstra is trying to block the move, some analysts have called it a "once in a decade opportunity for its shareholders".

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Tags NBNTelstranational broadband networkNBNcoNSW Department of Education

More about Commonwealth GovernmentetworkNSW GovernmentTAFETelstra CorporationVerity

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