Sir Thomas Mitchell would surely approve of the Mitchell Link, a new high speed fibre optic link which will greatly benefit the Bathurst and Orange campuses of Charles Sturt University (CSU).
For the first time, the regionally-based University campuses will connect into the Australian Research and Education Network (AREN), which was established in 2002 to provide large bandwidth capabilities to the country’s universities.
CSU Acting Vice-Chancellor Ross Chambers says the Mitchell Link will greatly assist CSU research staff and enhance CSU’s ability to develop and deliver its programs.
The Mitchell Link was launched by Senator Helen Coonan, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, at the Bathurst Campus of CSU today, Friday 9 June. Minister Coonan said the allocation of $4.5 million to establish the Mitchell Link of the AREN was testament to what can be achieved when the public and private sectors combined their efforts to build sustainable and scalable infrastructure to get Australia connected.
“The Mitchell Link project will obviously be important to the local region but it will also form a key link in the national broadband backbone,” the Minister said.
“This link will support education, health and other essential government services and help empower communities economically, socially and culturally.”
Professor Chambers agreed, saying “high quality communications are especially important to regionally based universities and their communities. Effective participation in the national and international world of scholarship is essential to the quality of research and teaching.”
The high speed, highly reliable system will link the Bathurst and Orange campuses with the national and international academic community, and will assist CSU’s staff to participate in collaborative and online research.
The University will also better serve its distance education students though the use of higher bandwidth, video streaming and class-based video collaborations. The Mitchell Link will also improve intercampus communications.
As well, the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) will expand its foot print which is already one of the largest research and education networks in the world.
The partners in the funded project are the NSW Department of Commerce, Soul Pty Ltd and CSU through AARNet. Each of the partners will have access to separate capacity on the network.
CSU will be contributing $1.5m to the cost of construction, facilitated by a $1 million grant from the Federal Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST).