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Keeping up with network demand across TAFE Queensland

The use of technology in education continues to evolve at a rapid pace, and TAFE Queensland is working hard to keep up with demand. 

TAFE Queensland students can now access incredible online education platforms designed to enhance learning, and bring hands-on, real-world learning to them wherever they may be.

From virtual welding machines to virtual boats where ship captains can learn to sail, virtual learning brings the classroom to the student.

To keep up with the progressive and innovative use of technology in the classroom, TAFE Queensland recently teamed up with RIOT Solutions to completely redesign and upgrade the entire TAFE Queensland network, across 60 locations, from Thursday Island to the Gold Coast, and west to Mount Isa.

“We found out network stretched when we had to pivot our delivery to online during the COVID 19 pandemic,” Chief Information Officer Alan Chapman said.

“From a technical perspective, the existing network was outdated and no longer fit-for-purpose. To successfully deliver our technology-rich curriculum and create a world-class online learning environment, the network required faster access, improved performance, and usability. It also needed to support advanced learning tools like virtual reality.”

RIOT was able to deliver this massive project through careful and detailed planning, as well as leveraging key relationships throughout the process.

TAFE Queensland and RIOT were both extremely conscious of creating equity amongst all locations, regardless of their remoteness, with the project for continual upgrade and roll-out taking two years to complete.

RIOT’s architecture was designed to create a secure wireless network that operated across all environments and was consistent. Using Cisco’s Meraki platform, the team created a fully optimised, secure network to transform each location into a smart campus.

The detailed rollout plan included photos of every switch deployed, so that RIOT could remotely talk anyone onsite through the environment and necessary adjustments or repairs.

With the added functionality of Orro’s one-touch control to manage the network, it’s now possible to see and report on every device as needed.  

“We are really pleased with the outcome - 2022 was the first year where during the return to TAFE classes, I didn’t receive a single complaint about the network being down or a lack of bandwidth interrupting online activity,” he said.

All of this has successfully delivered a network upgrade that is supporting the next generation of TAFE students across Queensland.