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All secondary schools to have high-speed broadband by 2014

Every secondary school in Ireland will be supplied with 100Mbps connections to provide quick connections in every classroom.

Image: Photocall Ireland

EVERY SECONDARY SCHOOL in the country is to be given a high-speed broadband connection within the next three years, government ministers have announced.

Communications minister Pat Rabbitte and his education counterpart Ruairí Quinn say the country’s 700 second-level institutions will all be supplied with the 100Mbps connections by 2014.

Less than a third of the schools will have the connections in time for next year, however: 200 schools will be given the connections in time for September 2012, with the same number again being given them for September 2013.

The remaining 250 schools will have to wait until September 2014 before they can try out the 100Mbps connection – the fastest currently on offer for most Irish homes and businesses – which is intended to allow high-speed connections in every classroom.

Every secondary school in Connacht and Ulster as well as those in Louth, Offaly, Laois, Longford, Westmeath and Clare will have their connections supplied before the beginning of the next school year.

The plans follow a pilot project in which 78 second-level schools were given high speed connections, in order to trial their usefulness for the classroom.

The Department of Communications is funding the capital costs of the spending, of around €11m, and contribute €10m to its annual running costs. The Department of Eduction will cover the rest of the current costs, of around €20m a year by 2015.

Ruairí Quinn said the presence of quick internet connections in classrooms was a “basic building block to deliver a 21st -century learning experience to all learners.”

Read: UPC ordered to drop ‘fastest broadband’ claim from adverts

Caption Competition? ‘New boy in class’ pic of the day

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Gavan Reilly

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