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  • 15 September 2021 10:00

Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong ensures uninterrupted student learning with nbn Enterprise Ethernet

Vertel has installed nbn Enterprise Ethernet services to provide a redundant network for the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW).

Vertel, one of Australia’s largest privately-owned telecommunications carriers, has installed nbn Enterprise Ethernet services to provide a redundant network for the Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW), ensuring that student learning is never interrupted by internet outages.

The Diocese of Wollongong incorporates 38 Catholic systemic schools, spanning across the Illawarra, Macarthur, Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven regions of New South Wales. It has 19,500 students and 2,500 staff, including casual employees, across the schools.

As part of its High Availability Network Architecture (HANA) strategy, CEDoW needed to introduce network redundancy for its schools. This meant putting a contingency network in place so that learning and teaching could continue as normal if the primary network services were to fail. With the shift to remote learning due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the added pressure on networks from cloud-based programs, and bandwidth-hungry technology such as streaming services, the CEDoW IT team and Vertel implemented a solution that could withstand these growing network demands.

David Emery, CEDoW Acting Chief Information Officer (CIO), said, “We never want students to miss out on learning opportunities due to an internet outage. However, the reality is that it’s not uncommon for networks to go down, leaving the schools vulnerable to downtime.

“HANA was the vision of former CIO Alan Ibbett. This project is testament to the proactiveness of the IT team in identifying and deploying a solution, led by Project Manager Reuben Bardak, to provide always-on learning for our students and staff.”

CEDoW approached Vertel with a detailed plan that mapped out the specifications needed to align with its HANA strategy. Vertel was chosen to deliver carrier-grade resiliency, with nbn Enterprise Ethernet offering competitive pricing. CEDoW had worked with Vertel in the past for primary microwave links and knew that Vertel delivered high-quality services, providing confidence in Vertel’s expertise and ability to deliver a resilient, redundant network.

Vertel deployed the redundant network using nbn Enterprise Ethernet, which is built on an end-to-end fibre network. nbn Enterprise Ethernet also has the capacity to run in parallel to the existing primary network and can be tailored to guarantee bandwidth to different areas of the schools, offering CEDoW more flexibility and scalability for the future.

David Emery said, “Vertel facilitated the project, managing nbn and other contractors, and made sure the installation was progressing. This, along with weekly meetings to coordinate and address any issues, made working with Vertel easy. CEDoW has already seen the benefits of the backup network, having experienced a few outages to the primary internet service — including during NAPLAN, with no direct or noticeable impact to our users.”

Tony Hudson, Commercial Director, Vertel, said, “Vertel worked closely with CEDoW to make sure that all its requirements were addressed. With its foresight and innovative thinking, the Diocese of Wollongong has really created a blueprint and set the standard for other dioceses’ to follow when it comes to improving network availability in schools to ensure the best learning outcomes.”


About Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong

Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) was established in 1952 and serves Catholic systemic school communities across the Illawarra, Macarthur, Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven regions. There are currently 29 Catholic parish primary schools, eight Catholic co-educational secondary schools and one K–12 Catholic school. Our vibrant Catholic school communities support over 19,000 students, helping every child find meaning and purpose in their life through experiencing continual growth in faith and improvement in learning.

To find out more about Catholic schools in the Diocese of Wollongong, visit

About Vertel

Vertel is a wholly-owned, Australian national telecommunications carrier with over 40 years’ experience and has built a reputation as fixed and mobile critical network experts. With a broad range of fixed and mobile network and cloud services, underpinned by excellence in delivery and on-going operations, we specialise in serving customers with high availability, performance, management and security requirements for business, mission and life-critical operations. As the world’s first wireless carrier to achieve MEF certification for its Ethernet Layer 2 service, we can design, build and deliver carrier-grade connectivity and applications for organisations throughout Australia.

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