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Business case study

James Cook University

Discover how nbn® Enterprise Ethernet enabled a world-class university in rural Queensland to scale, grow, and improve its learning opportunities.

The challenge

As a world-leading educational institution with over 21,000 students, James Cook University recognised the importance of a robust network infrastructure that could facilitate the delivery of exceptional teaching and learning experiences.

Even before the pandemic, James Cook University was already using internet remote learning to reach its regional students and were offering student placements in remote areas, so they understood how much reliable connectivity can impact student outcomes.

“For educational institutions, connectivity is non-negotiable. You have to invest in doing it right.” Prof. Sabina Knight, Director of Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health

The university runs by the philosophy that better learning experiences will better prepare graduates for the global environment. So, with that in mind, ensuring students could easily and reliably access streamed lectures, tutorials, and online learning resources relied heavily on implementing connectivity solutions that would suit their operational needs.

James Cook University had been operating their several regional sites using satellite, fixed wireless and Fibre to the Node (FTTN) technologies. However, these technologies were not enough to give the school the global advantage they are best known for and were negatively impacting student and staff experiences.

Our team and students are dispersed right across outback Queensland. It's hard to understate the importance of internet reliability. There's nothing worse than choppy video or distorted voices coming through on your device. If a connection drops off, students miss out. And that's not something we're comfortable with.

Prof. Sabina KnightDirector of Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University

The solution

James Cook University decided that nbn® Enterprise Ethernet from Aussie Broadband would be the best solution to deliver the bandwidth suitable for their world-class institution.

To meet the university's needs, Aussie Broadband installed a business nbn® Enterprise Ethernet connection to three sites for the school's Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health. This opened up opportunities for James Cook University to access symmetrical speed internet.

Aussie Broadband upgraded the university's hub in Mt Isa as well as two other support sites in Cloncurry and Longreach.

Initially, the university opted for a symmetrical 50/50 Mbps download/upload plan. However, they have increased their bandwidth to 250/250 to better meet the needs of the university facilities and student accommodation.

“What's great about the solution is that it's scalable. We have the potential to adjust the speed and bandwidth as the Centre's operations grow.” Jacob Backman, Aussie Broadband Representative.

The university's nbn® Enterprise Ethernet solution is also backed by an enhanced service level support at the wholesale level. With this in place, it will help to quickly restore fault conditions and ensure the university remains operating with minimal downtime.

We're really pleased we've made the switch. nbn® Enterprise Ethernet solution has really brought the Centre's connectivity into line with the rest of JCU's campuses. With improved video and voice capability, students studying or on remote placements are getting that world-class education we're renowned for. It's still hands-on training, but without the need to always be face to face.

Prof. Sabina KnightDirector of Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University

*Actual wholesale speeds capped at 952Mbps as prescribed by nbn® due to many factors including equipment and network limitations not operated by Aussie Broadband.

The result

By employing business nbn® Enterprise Ethernet, James Cook University was able to find a cost-effective, reliable solution that would allow them to deliver world-class education to their students.

The solution better enables the university's students to participate in medical placement in hospitals and medical facilities around the country and maintain connection capabilities to classes for remote learning.

Having students across such a wide expanse, makes us really passionate about our learning experience being equivalent. It needs to be the same high standard we expect on campus across all our regional and remote communities, ensuring we tap into the great expertise and skills that exist there.

Prof. Sabina KnightDirector of Martupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University

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