Giving rural education a digital boost

The Rural Access Gap is making significant strides in closing the digital divide between rural and metropolitan schools.



For many schools in rural, remote and regional areas of NSW, having access to reliable digital technologies, resources and internet connectivity has been an ongoing challenge. This has put students and teachers at a disadvantage behind schools in metropolitan areas of the state.

Closing the digital divide

The NSW Department of Education is focused on levelling the playing field through its Rural Access Gap program, which is supported by $365.8 million from the Digital Restart Fund.

Empowering students, teachers and schools with faster internet connectivity, digital teaching and learning tools is at the heart of the program. This enables students to achieve educational milestones regardless of where they live.

More schools to benefit

This important investment is already making significant strides in closing the digital divide and will continue to be rolled out to schools over the next 12 months. For more information visit Rural Access Gap program.

Lack of connectivity impacts learning

“Parents were concerned about how the lack of reliable connectivity would impact their children's learning. It also made my job as a teaching principal a bit slower – it just meant careful planning, preparation and readiness, and knowing that there would be days where we'd have to do things the old fashioned way.”

– Melissa Date, former principal of Macdonald Valley Public School

Rural Access Gap program makes positive change

“Our new wi-fi connectivity and supply of devices has really streamlined our teaching processes and given us access to so many more resources. Already I can see the excitement in the students and teachers in our classrooms."

– Debbie Pritchard, principal at Dubbo Public School

217,000 students call remote, rural and regional NSW home

  • 217,000 students, 16,000 teaching staff and 6500 admin support staff across 1004 schools will benefit by mid-2023.
  • Increased access to student and teacher devices at 1004 schools.
  • Wi-Fi connectivity upgrades completed at 978 schools (achieving the target of 5 megabytes per second per student)
  • Learning space upgrades completed at 658 schools.
  • The program's Digital Support Team has delivered 9577 hours of elective professional development.


Giving rural education a digital boost

Schools across regional and rural NSW discuss the impact the Rural Access Gap program has made to their teachers, students and community.


Rural Access Gap

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