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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 11 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 September 2015) . . Page.. 3385 ..


Of course, we cannot go through this conversation without listening to some of the Clarke and Dawe comments about connection by fibre to the node over fibre to the premises. The scenario runs out in this way. Mr Dawe would say, “Well, how is this going to work? How is this going to work, this fibre-to-the-node?” Mr Clarke would say, “Well, what will happen is that you’ll get an instant transmission via the fibre optic to the node. That will be a box at the bottom of your street.” “What will happen then?” “Well, there’ll be a fella there with a pushbike and he’ll write down that message and he’ll ride his pushbike up to your house, deliver the message and then, of course, he’ll wait for your response and take it back to the box at the bottom of the street.” An interesting concept on how fibre to the node would run over fibre to the house. The current federal government needs to reconsider its commitment to a half-baked iron connection which it has promised to build. We need fibre to the premises in the ACT, and we need it now. The newly appointed Minister for Communications, Mitch Fifield, also needs to tell the community when their premises will have access to the NBN and whether it will be to the node or to the premises. These areas need to go onto the rollout map.

The member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, is currently running a petition on this issue, and I encourage anyone who cares about the technological future of this country to sign it. You can find it at www.gaibrodtmann.com.au. Now more than ever it is important that the community have their voice heard on this important issue.

MS BURCH (Brindabella—Minister for Education and Training, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Racing and Gaming and Minister for the Arts) (11.30): ICT and internet connectivity is a fundamental requirement for a modern education. So I am very happy to speak to Ms Fitzharris’s motion today, in particular the areas which relate to the government’s digital Canberra strategy. ACT public schools are leading the nation on access to ICT and internet connectivity because of the provision to all ACT public schools of the highest speed education network in Australia called schoolsnet.

While the NBN has not yet been delivered to ACT schools, the ACT government has long recognised the importance of delivering high speed fibre to our schools. Schoolsnet delivers high speed, secure gigabit fibre broadband to our public schools via government-owned fibre and is a key foundation for innovation in education and the adoption of emerging technologies. Schoolsnet is an integral part of the government’s digital schools strategy. The investment of $9.2 million in ICT in schools in the 2014-15 budget included a $3.3 million upgrade of wireless access in all ACT public schools, colleges and P-10 schools. All secondary public school students are now the best connected in the country. They are attending schools with the highest speed internet access in Australia where all students and staff can be connected anywhere, anytime.

The government has provided an additional $38 million for ICT in schools for the next four years through the 2015-16 budget. Four million dollars of this funding will see an upgrade of wireless internet connections in all ACT public primary schools


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