105 additional Irish schools to be connected to 100Mbps broadband

14 Jul 2014

Fibre player E-net has won a new contract to connect an additional 105 schools around Ireland with 100Mbps broadband, bringing to 222 the number of schools now connected to its Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs).

The new contract is part of Phase 3 of the 100Mbps Broadband for Schools project run by HEAnet on behalf of the Department of Education and the Department of Communications.

The news comes after Eircom was selected in May to deliver 100Mbps broadband to 42 primary schools around Ireland.

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

MANs about towns

The new infrastructure has been described as a “quantum leap” in terms of available connectivity and will support thousands of students across the 105 schools.

“Case studies carried out on existing 100Mbps enabled schools have shown that thebroadband facilitates a wide range of experiential learnings,” said Conal Henry, chief executive of E-net.

“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,” Henry said.

Coding kid image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years