E-net to rollout 100Mbps broadband in 24 schools

25 Jun 2010

E-net, the company responsible for managing the first and second phase Metropolitan Area Networks in 94 towns around Ireland, has been awarded a contract from the Higher Education Authority to supply 24 schools across Ireland with 100Mbps broadband.

The award is part of the “100Mbps for Schools” project run by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and was announced in the Programme for Government.

Under the terms of the deal, E-net’s fibre will transform the broadband connectivity to these 24 schools, creating the capacity to significantly enrich and enhance the educational experience for thousands of students.

The rollout was welcomed by the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills, Mary Coughlan TD.

“High quality communications in our schools and educational establishments can be transformational; consider the difference between seeing Martin Luther King deliver his ‘I have a dream’ speech versus reading the text in a book .

“These schools now have access to the best quality broadband possible, allowing for ready use of multi-media content, video conferencing and a whole host of exciting new educational opportunities available through Next Generation technology,” Minister Coughlan said.

The 24 schools awarded to E-net are across 14 MAN enabled towns: Athlone, Carlow Town, Cavan Town, Cork City, Dundalk, Galway City, Kilkenny City, Kiltimagh, Letterkenny, Limerick City, Monaghan Town, Sligo Town, Tralee and Waterford City.

“The Government is providing next generation broadband to the next generation,” said Communications Minister Eamon Ryan TD.

“This is one of the single most important investments we can make for this country. To develop the digital economy we need to create digital citizens. This initiative will enhance the educational experience of our students as well as preparing Ireland for the new economy, where knowledge truly is power,” Ryan said.

Following the Budget in December Minister Ryan announced that 100Mbps of high-speed broadband will be delivered to 78 secondary schools across the country.

E-net CEO, Conal Henry added: “E-net is extremely proud of our involvement in the delivery of world class broadband to these 24 schools and this initiative underscores the importance of the MANs to the delivery of cutting-edge communications and information services to the education sector in regional Ireland.”

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