NetStar lands $1.8m Victorian schools contract

NetStar lands $1.8m Victorian schools contract

Cisco-based networking project could be rolled out across 200 independent schools

Network integrator, NetStar Networks, has scooped a $1.8 million three-year deal with the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (AISV) to supply an IP network for up to 200 schools.

NetStar marketing director, Oliver Descoeurdes, said the integrator was responsible for building, supporting and managing the central core providing broadband and instant connectivity to rural and regional schools. The deal is a part of the association’s Victorian Independent Collaborative Technologies and Online Resources (VICTOR) project, which aims to supply a common IP communications network.

“We have built the core, which is essentially a routing platform and shared services such as proxy server caching and web content security that different schools could access,” he said. “We’re quite strong already in the education space, but a deal this size and visibility reinforces our credibility.

“It gives us a good methodology to approach other organisations in other states.”

The infrastructure will be predominately based on Cisco equipment including high-end core routers as well as web filtering security.

“Individual schools will have the ability to set security policies that dictate which websites are allowed to be accessed,” Descoeurdes said.

There are currently seven sites going through the pilot phase but NetStar estimates the project could be rolled out across 200 schools.

“AISV is not expecting every school to take this up, but they’re making it available to everyone. Depending on the number of schools, deployment could take about six months,” he said.

NetStar has also built centralised Quality of Service (QoS) control into the infrastructure so schools will have the ability to implement videoconferencing in the future.

“We’re also providing centralised billing so that AISV can bill individual schools based on their usage,” Descoeurdes said.

In other news, the integrator has expanded its national presence by opening an office in Brisbane. NetStar also has offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

“We’re expanding fairly rapidly at the moment,” Descoeurdes said. “We see Brisbane as a growth market because of its economy and we’ve already got some customers there. We are looking at further geographic growth.”

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