216 additional Irish schools to receive 100Mbps broadband in 2013

5 Mar 2013

An additional 216 secondary schools on top of the first 280 schools in the trial and first phase of the project are to receive 100Mbps broadband, Ireland’s Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte TD said today. That means all secondary schools in Dublin, Meath and Kildare will have this infrastructure installed during early 2013.

The 2012 phase of the project saw broadband installed in all post-primary schools in 14 western and midlands counties, covering 202 schools.  

This built upon a pilot project involving 78 schools nationally, where the use of broadband has been shown to have improved both teaching and learning.

The minister said all remaining 250 schools in the country will be connected in 2014.

“By bringing 100Mbps uncontended connectivity directly to the premises many students will now have vastly enhanced access to new and innovative educational tools.

“This is a completely different standard of connection to domestic broadband and will allow multiple applications to be accessed by students right across the school.

“This is an important investment in Ireland’s competitiveness. From now on these schools will mirror the workplaces of tomorrow.  These students will therefore be much better prepared for the digital economy when they seek work,” Rabbitte said.

Key skills development

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn said the Government is committed to integrating ICT/digital technology in teaching and learning across the curriculum.

“The use of ICT/digital technology will be one of the key skills in the new Junior Cycle, and it will be enhanced through the availability of a short course, currently being developed by the NCCA, that will deal with programming/coding for junior cycle students from September 2014. In order to facilitate students in developing ICT skills, access to fast reliable broadband is essential.

“The roll out of 100Mbps to all post-primary schools will also facilitate schools to develop e-portfolios to augment the school work component of the new Junior Cycle,” Quinn said.

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