As part of a Government initiative to deliver high-speed broadband to all post-primary schools across Ireland, HEAnet have been appointed to design, build and manage provision of symmetrical 100 Mbit/s connectivity to approximately 750 schools under the Schools 100 Mbit/s High-Speed Programme.
This new high-speed schools programme is co-financed by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) and the Department of Education & Skills in pursuit of the Government’s high-speed connectivity ambitions as set out in the Next Generation Broadband Policy Paper of June 2009:
“Connectivity to schools, in particular, will benefit from the Government’s investment in broadband infrastructure. We aim to equip second-level schools in Ireland with 100 Mbps of broadband connectivity and Local Area Networks (LAN) on a phased basis. This will enable students to learn and collaborate online.”
Source: Next Generation Policy Paper (www.dcenr.gov.ie)
The appointment of HEAnet as network managers of this new high-speed network 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.
In leveraging this investment, DCENR and HEAnet are very grateful to those HEAnet client members that are facilitating access to their campus locations and thus enabling delivery of cost-effective backhaul to schools from regional areas.
As was the case under the Broadband for Schools Programme, schools will receive a school router managed by HEAnet and access to the Internet will continue to be filtered (as is the policy under the current wider Broadband for Schools Programme).
As at September 2014, approximately 750 post-primary schools across the country have 100 Mbit/s connections to HEAnet under this programme. Post-primary schools will be migrated off the Broadband for Schools Programme as they receive 100 Mbit/s connections under the Schools 100 Mbit/s High-Speed Programme.
The Schools 100 Mbit/s High-Speed Programme receives support from Ireland’s EU Structural Funds Programme and the European Regional Development Fund.