PC and peripherals maker Acer Computer Australia has signed a $98.75 million notebook PC contract with the Victorian Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET-VIC), deploying 40,0000 notebooks to primary, secondary and TAFE school teachers in metropolitan and regional Victoria.
Acer supplied government schools and TAFE teachers with an Acer TravelMate 500 series notebook and will also support them with user training, said Michael Cefai, Acer Computer Australia's national government sales manager.
The deal is believed to be Australia's largest PC rollout and the world's second largest laptop deal next to that of a British Telecom contract, company officials said.
Acer began the rollout in November 1998 under DEET-VIC's Notebook for Teacher's contract , finishing the deployment two years ahead of schedule, Cefai said.
There will also be flow-on sales to Catholic and private schools under the deal, he added.
DEET-VIC general manager of IT Paul Doherty said in a statement that the program was key to the department's technology strategy and has boosted teachers' IT skills and productivity levels in the classroom.
The Victorian government is the first state government to outfit all teachers with a notebook PC.
The Victorian government is also offering another tender for 80,000 more laptops. Acer will bid for this contract among the likes of top notebook PC vendors Compaq, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard and Dell, Cefai said.
According to Cefai, the Queensland and Western Australian governments are considering signing similar deals with Acer for their own schooling systems.