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Kemp announces additional bandwidth for regional universities.

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Media Release


K115 20 July 2000

Regional universities in Queensland, the Northern Territory and northern New South Wales are set to move into the fast lane of the information super highway with the announcement today by Dr David Kemp of an additional $1.6 million to upgrade their bandwidth.

Universities to benefit from the announcement include James Cook University, Central Queensland University, the University of Southern Queensland, Southern Cross University, the University of New England and Northern Territory University.

In the past, these universities have been unable to access high speed internet services at a reasonable cost. The struggle with slow IT connections and lengthy download times has hampered their participation in the modern global marketplace of ideas.

These regional universities on average used to have access to just 2 Mbps (megabits) internet connections. This funding will enable access at speeds up to 34 Mbps initially, with the capacity to expand later to 155 Mbps - an enormous improvement. The funding will also help these universities to actively participate in new developments in collaborative teaching and research and gain the administrative efficiencies that the internet offers.

"I am delighted to support the initiative of the Queensland Parallel Supercomputing Foundation led by James Cook University, to increase bandwidth to regional universities in Queensland, northern New South Wales and the Northern Territory," Dr Kemp said.

The Commonwealth’s grant of $1.6 million is provided under the Higher Education Innovation Programme and will be available this year.

"It is vital that Australia’s regional universities are wired into the knowledge economy and that they are able to participate in it on an equitable basis with their metropolitan counterparts," Dr Kemp said.

The new funding is in addition to $1.3 million which the Commonwealth announced at the end of last year for bandwidth access to regional universities in Queensland.

The Commonwealth will be holding discussions with the Queensland Office of Higher Education on the detail of the proposal but is committed to providing this funding, which will be available from the higher education capital development pool in 2002.

It is expected that universities will begin to have access to the expanded bandwidth from October 2000.

Media contact: Catherine Job: 02 6277 7460 or 0412 918 110


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