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Rural classrooms lead satellite revolution

Thanks to Optus satellite two-way broadband internet, rural and remote classrooms are leading the satellite revolution in Australia.

Some students in rural and remote areas now have access to faster internet speeds than their metropolitan counterparts.

Speaking at a rural and remote communications conference in Sydney, Optus Satellite Services General Manager, Bob Murray, said schools in remote areas are leading the way in bridging the city - country communications divide by using satellite technology.

"With satellite technology, the 'tyranny of distance' is obsolete. Optus satellite is connecting 7,200 students in New South Wales to a high-speed broadband service and 35,000 students in the Northern Territory are already connected," he said.

Mr Murray said satellite was widely recognised as the ideal technology choice for rural and remote Australia and rural classrooms were currently the best examples of the impact of the technology.

"The evolution of satellite in rural and remote Australia is taking place in the heart of the community, through schools and educational institutions.

"We see education as one of the key platforms for change. With communications in schools evolving through the delivery of satellite technology, the whole community will benefit," said Mr Murray.

Remote aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory are also benefiting from satellite technology through the Electronic Outback Project (EOP).

"The EOP uses satellite technology as a communications linchpin for remote communities. Northern Territory communities now have videoconferencing, internet access, pay telephones and fax services delivered via Optus satellite."

The Optus satellite team is continuing to work with the education community in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region to develop innovative learning technologies for the Primary, Secondary and Tertiary sectors.

For more information:
Linda Collard
Optus Public Affairs
Phone: 02 9342 5045