Preparing 239 more schools for ultra-fast broadband

Date :30 June 2010 | Source :Minister for Education, Minister for Communications and Information TechnologyPreparing 239 more schools for ultra-fast broadband

Education Minister Anne Tolley and Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce today announced the next 239 schools to receive government-subsidised network upgrades, in preparation for ultra-fast broadband.

As announced in Budget 2010, $37.5 million will be invested in this latest phase of the School Network Upgrade Project, which is part of the government’s $1.5 billion six-year Broadband Investment Initiative.

“The inclusion of 239 new schools means that by the end of 2011 more than a third of state and state-integrated schools’ networks will be ultra-fast broadband-capable,” says Mrs Tolley.

473 state and state integrated schools have so far had their data and electrical cabling infrastructure upgraded to enable broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or more inside the school. A further 100 network upgrades are in progress.

“Our education system must evolve to ensure our students can learn in ways that are relevant and engaging and that prepare them for a rapidly changing world,” says Mrs Tolley.

“We know access to ultra-fast broadband can significantly contribute to improving student achievement, by providing a much wider range of learning opportunities for both students and their teachers. It also has the potential to help schools to improve their assessment practices, operate more efficiently and reduce student absenteeism.”

Minister Joyce reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to ensuring every student in New Zealand gets ultra-fast access to online content and services at school.

“Providing schools with ultra-fast access to online content and services is a top priority for the government,” says Mr Joyce.

“We’re working to ensure 97 per cent of schools, covering 99.7 per cent of students, are on fibre in the next six years.

“This will make the New Zealand education system one of the most connected in the world.”

Upgrades for the 239 schools announced today include 179 in urban centres and 60 rural schools, of which 21 are in remote locations. A full list of schools is attached.

More schools will be invited to upgrade their networks in 2011.