100 more schools to receive broadband boost

  • Anne Tolley
  • Steven Joyce
Communications and Information Technology Education

100 more schools around the country are set to receive ICT upgrades as part of the Government's commitment to high speed broadband in schools.

Education Minister Anne Tolley and Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce today announced a $21.5 million allocation to the schools in the latest round of the $150 million boost for school network upgrades, which is part of the government's $1.5 billion Broadband Investment Initiative.

Upgrading the schools' networks will mean teachers and students in every classroom will have the capability to access ultra-fast broadband.

The Ministers say access to high-speed broadband is a vital part of ensuring students get a 21st century education in a 21st century economy.

"We want to enable as many students as possible to take full advantage of the benefits provided by this technology," says Mrs Tolley.

"This roll out will contribute to the government's goal of ensuring our schools provide the best possible education to their students."

It is expected that up to 2,000 schools will be upgraded in successive stages over the next six years.

Mr Joyce says broadband in schools is a key part of the government's commitment to roll out ultra-fast broadband to New Zealanders where they live, work and study.

"The reality is, most children currently at school will spend much of their working lives online.  It's important that our schools have the capacity to prepare them for that.

"We believe ultra-fast broadband will deliver a social and economic step change in New Zealand - schools are one of our first priorities as the benefits of greater broadband capacity will be felt very quickly.

"That's why we're aiming to have 97% of all schools serving 99.7% of all students accessing ultra-fast broadband (with speeds of 100 Mbps or greater) within six years."

More schools will be invited to upgrade their networks in early 2010.