Minister reaffirms broadband for Irish schools plan


8 Aug 2011

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A successful pilot programme which delivered 100Mgbs of broadband to 78 second-level Irish schools has led Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, TD, to stress his goal of rolling out high-speed broadband to all second-level schools in Ireland.

Rabbitte said he has been talking with Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn, TD, about the full rollout of high-speed broadband to the remaining Irish schools, including financing and the ongoing costs. Rabbitte added he expects to bring forward specific proposals after the summer.

The financing of the initiative will be considered in the context of general budgetary discussions this autumn.

“The provision of high-speed broadband to second-level schools will underpin the commitment in the Programme for Government to integrate ICT in teaching and learning across the curriculum,” Rabbitte said.

“ICT skills are in strong demand in Ireland and internationally and the availability of highly skilled graduates in this area is a priority, so that Ireland can reap the full reward of our digital economy – in terms of jobs and the continued growth of the vibrant ICT sector in Ireland."

Rabbitte said schools with access to high-speed broadband will be in a position to develop innovative teaching models which can benefit both pupils and teachers.

"Our aim is to ensure that the current and future generation of second-level pupils have the skills and competencies to fully embrace the challenges and opportunities of the digital age," he said.

Photo: Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, TD