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Dublin: 5°C Tuesday 1 December 2020

Further 212 secondary schools to be connected to high-speed broadband

Seven shortlisted contractors have been asked to submit bids to ensure that 200 secondary schools in Galway and in 12 rural counties will be connected by the end of August.

Image: dark_ghetto28 via Creative Commons/Flickr

THE MINISTER FOR Communications has announced the roll-out of high-speed broadband for 200 secondary schools in Galway and in 12 rural counties will be complete by the beginning of this year’s school term.

Addressing delegates at the Labour Party Conference in NUI Galway, Pat Rabbitte said seven shortlisted contractors had been asked to submit bids so as to ensure that all the schools will be connected by the end of August.

“The Government’s investment is in industrial strength broadband for schools that is on a par with the services used by large offices and international services companies. It is completely different to the sort of domestic scale internet access that almost all schools rely on today,” Rabbite said. “It will provide access to a world of educational resources and learning opportunities for both teachers and students.”

Rabbitte said that schools in rural counties in the west and border regions are being prioritised for the first year of a three year roll out because they were “amongst the regions which have the weakest broadband infrastructure where state investment will have the greatest impact”. Rabbitte also welcomed a delegate motion calling for digital literacy to be tackled, explaining that this was a “priority” for his Department this year.

He praised the initiative of the local authorities around the country which were establishing free wifi access zones, saying that such moves send a “strong message” about Ireland to tourists and business people – adding that the trials “may provide a template for a nationwide roll out of visitor wifi zones”.

Rabbitte added that the Next Generation Broadband Task Force had now completed its work and that it was hoped its report regarding connectivity challenges would come to Government before the end of April. The report is expected to provide a basis for the nationwide roll-out of faster broadband in the coming years.

All secondary schools to have high-speed broadband by 2014>

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