105 more schools to get 100Mbps broadband

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14 July 2014 | 0

A contract to supply high speed broadband to a further 105 schools has been awarded to the open access network operator, enet

The new contract is part of Phase 3 of the “100Mbs for Schools” programme, run by HEAnet on behalf of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Education and Skills. The new project will bring to 222 the number of schools benefiting from superfast broadband delivered through the Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs).

Under the terms of the contract, the MAN fibre will provide broadband connectivity to the 105 schools, creating the capacity to significantly enrich and enhance the educational experience for thousands of students.

“Our job is to use our expertise to leverage economies of scale and value for money in delivering services to all our clients,” said John Boland, Chief Executive, HEAnet, “and this is an excellent example of HEAnet, and the Higher Education Institutions, maximising public investment in our shared infrastructure.”

“The advent of 100Mbs connectivity at post-primary schools represents a quantum leap in network connectivity for these schools and allows web-based resources to be incorporated in classroom teaching in a far more effective and efficient manner,” said Ronan Byrne, CTO, HEAnet. “HEAnet are delighted to build and manage this network on behalf of the Irish Government and schools.”

Broadband services to the 222 schools are delivered across the MAN enabled towns throughout Ireland. Counties Cork, Limerick, Galway and Tipperary have benefited most significantly from these technological advancements with the introduction of 100Mb broadband into 33, 19, 18 and 18 schools in these counties respectively.

“Enet is extremely proud of our involvement in the delivery of world class broadband to these schools,” said Conal Henry, CEO, enet. “Digital technologies and online resources are an incredibly rich form of media which, when imaginatively utilised, offer the capacity to transform the prospects of individual students and the prosperity and well-being of Ireland as a whole.”

“Case studies carried out on existing 100Mb enabled schools have shown that the broadband facilitates a wide range of experiential learnings. Students can now take a virtual tour of a museum to study a famous painting; they can chat and follow-up online with teachers; they can participate in virtual study groups with classmates or collaborators regardless of their physical location or even possibly catch-up on a class that they missed in “real time”. Going forward, the wider use of technology will also ensure that students in smaller or more remote schools will no longer be disadvantaged in relation to the subject choice.”

HEAnet is supporting the Irish Government’s ambition to deliver 100Mbs connectivity to approx. 750 post-primary schools nationwide and is responsible for the design, procurement and management of this high-speed network on behalf of the State. The project is scheduled for completion by September 2014.

 

TechCentral Reporters

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