€16m investment in broadband for schools

25 Jun 2009

The 100Mbps Post-Primary Schools Project, launched today by the Minister for Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, will see high-speed broadband being installed in secondary schools all around the country, starting with a €16m investment for the first 78 schools participating.

Announced at the Digital Hub Learning Studio earlier today, the investment promises to be the beginning of a new phase in the Government’s plans to develop Irish schools as world-class centres of e-learning and “to educate the next generation of knowledge workers and digital entrepreneurs”.

Minister Ryan, on launching the high-speed broadband initiative, said: “Today, we are laying one of the foundation stones of Ireland’s new knowledge society. Providing our schools with high-speed wireless connectivity opens up a whole new world of learning for our children.

We are taking online learning out of the confines of the computer room. In classrooms and corridors, students and teachers will potentially be able to carry out interactive chemistry experiments, and access demonstrations and exhibitions from all over the world.

“A class learning French in Dublin could talk in real-time with a class in France. A Leaving Cert Physics student will be able to take part in Ivy League lectures and experiments. With this level of connectivity, the opportunities for interaction and collaboration are unlimited.”

The first 78 post-primary schools picked for this first phase of 100Mpbs broadband connectivity were chosen, the Government said, through a range of criteria including social inclusion and geographical location. The project will bring their internet access up to speeds used by multinationals here in Ireland.

By Marie Boran

This story is part of the Digital 21 campaign to encourage Ireland to develop a National Digital Development Plan, ensuring the country and its economy are strategically well placed to thrive in the 21st century. For more stories, and to add your comments, visit www.digital21.ie.