Northern Territory students first to trial NBN multicast technology
Multicasting aims to provide rural students with better access to high-quality education materials over the Internet.
The Internet has been instrumental in reducing the education gap between students living in urban Australia and those toughing it out in more rural areas. Still, the quality of Internet access available in the furthest reaches of the country remains spotty at best, making it difficult for rural students to take advantage of the same multimedia tools their urban peers can.
nbn co. aims to change this with its latest network trial. Using its Sky Muster satellite service, nbn co. will be testing multicast technology in an effort to provide rural students with the means to engage in virtual classrooms and share large files with other rural schools quickly and efficiently.
Multicast technology works by streamlining Internet requests for distribution to multiple users, sourcing the data just once from the Internet and forwarding it to multiple destinations at the local level. In essence, this means that high-resolution lecture videos or other big files can be downloaded just once for a single rural network and shared with all school users on that network, drastically reducing the time and resource cost of keeping those users up-to-date with the latest information.
The multicast trial is set to kick off in the next few months, beginning with 15 locations throughout the Northern Territory including the School of The Air in Alice Springs, Katherine and Ludmilla. The technology will see its full launch nation-wide in mid-2018.