202 post-primary Irish schools to receive 100 Mbit/s broadband by winter

1 Aug 2012

Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, with Colaiste Bride students in Clondalkin, Dublin, at the announcement in February to extend the Schools 100 Mbit/s High-Speed Broadband Programme to all Irish post-primary schools by 2014

Ireland’s national education and research network HEAnet says it is on track to meet the Irish Government commitment to provide 202 post-primary schools in 14 counties with 100 Mbit/s broadband by end of October 2012.

HEAnet has just announced awards under its latest round of procurement for the Schools 100 Mbit/s Programme. This round of procurement sought bids to provide 100 Mbit/s broadband services to post-primary schools in Cavan, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.

In addition to broadband connectivity, HEAnet is also providing these schools with associated services, including managed school router, centralised content filtering, centralised firewalling, anti-virus, and associated services.

Access providers include AirSpeed, which will equip 90 schools; Digiweb, which will hook up 27 schools; e|net, which will connect 80 schools; and Imagine, which will link up five schools.

The remaining post-primary schools will be connected throughout 2013 and 2014, as per the Government’s national rollout plan.

Since 2010, HEAnet has connected 78 schools at 100 Mbit/s speeds under a first pilot phase of the programme.

This high-speed schools programme is being sponsored by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and the Department of Education and Skills with the support of National Development Plan, European Regional Development Fund, and EU-Structural Fund funding programmes.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic