Australian Institutions share optical fiber networks and create opportunities

- 06/11/2018

An inspiration for future partnerships in Brazil and all over the World was recently signed in Australia. In October, Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet), James Cook University (JCU) and Townsville City Hall announced a partnership to improve connectivity in the region by sharing fiber-optic cable throughout the City .

The agreement will improve the connectivity of the City Hall, allow the expansion of free Wi-Fi services and provide a second high-speed network to the North Queensland Regional Data Center (NQRDC) and enable local schools to use the internet to access virtual classrooms by videoconferencing technology. In addition, it will make Aitkenvale Library access available to AARNet's Research and Education Network.

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said this partnership plays an important role in the township, making it an intelligent city. “Being able to tap into AARNet's capabilities means having much more digital capability in areas where JCU has an existing physical network”, says Hill.

Sharing infrastructure means cost savings

There is also cost savings for the City Hall, since installing fiber optic networks where the AARNet or JCU network infrastructure exists is no required. James Cook University's Head of ICT Infrastructure Services, Swain Kirk, says the institution is pleased to work with City Hall and AARNet to provide enhanced services through the sharing of fiber telecommunications.

Extending access to Eduroam beyond Campus

The Eduroam Service provides the global academic community with internet access from the credentials used in their own institutions. Previously available only on college campuses, the redevelopment of the service generated by AARNet's growing collaboration with regional communities has allowed Eduroam to integrate with other areas of the Community.

“The approach will improve service delivery for the Townsville Student Community by allowing access to Eduroam in libraries, museums and other public areas. The three organizations will continue to work closely to further integrate this level of service to other locations, such as the airport and other educational organizations”, says Kirk.

Better access to the Data Center

Mayor Hill says the agreement is also important to facilitate the growth of the North Queensland Regional Data Center, which will help attract new industries to Townsville, provide extra backups and link the JCU infrastructure to the NQRDC, making the system even more resilient. “We want this facility to grow and attract new IT businesses to Townsville, helping to provide more job opportunities for local people”, says Hill.

The North Queensland Regional Data Center is a partnership between Townsville City Hall and James Cook University. This combination of strengths is a great example of how AARNet works with universities and local governments to improve access to network infrastructure in the Australian region.

Source: AARNet 

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