The University of Winnipeg and Telus have announced a partnership to advance technology on campus with the help of Telus’s infrastructure and a $150,000 technology fund.
Also included in the partnership is a $15,000 TELUS Military Families Scholarship Fund to support military members and their families in receiving education at the U of W.
With the collaboration, the U of W plans on implementing several rooms with telepresence technology, which will allow students to hold conferences, take courses and speak to people from around the world.
“With the university’s partnership with Cisco Systems, it became clear that in order for us to set up our telepresence units, we needed a telecommunications partner who had the technology to make our system work properly,” said Dan Hurley, senior executive officer and advisor to the president of the U of W.
Telus beat out competing telecommunications companies with their commitment to be involved in the community.
“Our Telus partnership will allow us to look outside of Manitoba to connect us with the globe,” Hurley said. “We could conceivably have courses being taught from Australia being broadcast to U of W classrooms.”
Richard Nakoneczny, chief operating officer of the U of W’s Technology Solutions Centre, looks forward to the improvements Telus can make to the campus’ infrastructure.
“Telus is constantly coming up with new products and services, looking for new places to test things out,“ he said. “They’re eager to bring new things to our campus first, try them out and reshape the project to make it better. We will become a test market for them and I think we’ll benefit from it.”
The telecommunications giant has experience working with Cisco Systems, whose system the university uses. There have even been talks of using Telus’s extensive Wi-Fi power to allow U of W students internet access all over the city.
“We want to increase broadband capacity, bringing our expertise to allow students to move on and off campus on our wireless network,” said Winnipeg-born Michael Sangster, vice-president of Telus. “No decisions have been made yet but we’re looking at making the whole city accessible on our 21 Mbps (Megabits per second) network.”
The partnership between Telus and the U of W has also spurred the creation of a new scholarship aimed at the families of people in the military.
Telus has already been working with Gen. (ret.) Rick Hillier to strengthen support for military families and has raised more than one million dollars for the Military Families Fund.
The $15,000 TELUS Military Families Scholarship Fund will be awarded each May to assist the children of Canadian Forces personnel to attend the U of W.
“Anytime we can be closer to our customers is a win-win situation,” Sangster said. “If we’ve got customers giving revenue, we feel we should give back by donations like this.”
Manitobans can contribute to the fund by donating at www.uwinnipegfoundation.ca/choose
Published in Volume 65, Number 8 of The Uniter (October 21, 2010)