Friday, 23 May 2014

HEAnet and eircom Wholesale partnership to transform digital connectivity for 42 schools across Ireland



42 secondary schools across Ireland will benefit from 100Mbs fibre broadband thanks to a partnership between eircom Wholesale and HEAnet, Ireland’s national education and research network. HEAnet awarded eircom Wholesale the contract to bring high-speed connectivity to the schools after a competitive tendering process. The 42 schools are located in counties Cork, Kilkenny, Kerry, Louth, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford and Dublin. The contract is part of the nationwide Schools Broadband rollout programme.

Schools already enabled with high-speed broadband through the eircom Wholesale network depend on the certainty of reliability and speed which enables teachers to plan lessons with confidence. Now 42 more schools in eight counties will be able to use technology in the classroom enhancing the educational experience using interactive audio and visual aids bringing learning experiences to life.

The schools will be connected to eircom’s National Ethernet Fibre Network, providing uncontended 100Mbs upload and download speeds enabling high-speed internet access and real-time applications. The future proofed Ethernet fibre network is capable of providing schools with speeds of 100Mbs and beyond as their bandwidth demands grow.

Commenting on the award announcement Peter Clarke, Sales and Marketing Director with eircom Wholesale, said “We are absolutely delighted to bring high-speed fibre connectivity to 42 secondary schools in conjunction with HEAnet. High-speed fibre connectivity is essential to enabling the sort of digital learning environment that Irish children will need to compete in the 21st century. Thanks to today’s announcement 42 schools in eight counties across Ireland will be able to take full advantage of digital educational opportunities such as interactive whiteboards, in-class online research and real-time collaboration between schools that only high-speed connectivity can offer.”

In addition to providing direct connectivity to 42 schools, eircom Wholesale’s national fixed infrastructure will be used by a number of service providers to provide high-speed connectivity to secondary schools as part of the Schools Broadband rollout programme.

Commenting on the positive impact high speed broadband will bring, Edel Collins, Deputy Principal of Our Lady's National School in Clonskeagh, said: “Having high-speed fibre broadband has revolutionized teaching practices in our school. Teachers are now more confident using broadband during classes. Before, teachers were anxious to see if the programme was going to load properly. It was difficult trying to keep the children occupied while you waited for something to load. Children are more engaged and now get excited when we use iPads and laptops which are now a standard part of our day-to-day teaching.”