HEAnet is on track to meet the Government commitment to provide post-primary schools in 14 county areas with 100 Mbit/s broadband by end of October 2012.
HEAnet have just announced awards under their 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 the following 14 counties:
Access Providers who were previously qualified by HEAnet into a multi-operator framework agreement were invited to submit quotes and the following is the award outcome under this procurement phase:
- Airspeed 90 schools
- Digiweb 27 schools
- e|net 80 schools
- Imagine 5 schools
HEAnet were appointed as network managers of this new high-speed broadband back in 2009 and since 2010 have connected 78 schools at 100 Mbit/s speeds under a first pilot phase of the programme. The appointment of HEAnet in this regard serves to leverage public investment in the HEAnet education and research network to date, while also allowing synergies and operational efficiencies to be explored with regard to HEAnet’s current operation of the Schools Broadband Network which HEAnet has successfully delivered broadband and associated services to all 4,000 (approx.) schools across Ireland since 2005.
HEAnet’s national network connects all publicly-funded Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the ability to interconnect school connections at regional HEI campus locations across the country delivers very cost-effective backhaul from the regions delivering real savings to the State. In this regard, HEAnet are very appreciative of the co-operation of its HEI members who are kindly facilitating schools interconnectivity at their campus locations. HEAnet would also like to acknowledge the support of ESB Telecoms whose service underpins a significant portion of HEAnet’s backbone reach.
In addition to broadband connectivity, HEAnet are also providing these schools with a portfolio of associated services including managed school router, centralised content filtering, centralised firewalling, anti-virus, and associated services.
The addition of this latest round of 202 school connections will mean 280 of Ireland’s post-primary schools will be in a position to benefit from a 100 Mbit/s broadband connection from October 2012. Remaining post-primary schools will be connected over 2013 and 2014 as per the Government’s national roll-out plan.
This high-speed schools programme is being sponsored by the Dept. of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) and the Department of Education & Skills (DES) with the support of National Development Plan (NDP), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and EU-Structural Fund funding programmes.
Fi Coyle, Communications Manager.