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Wales Commits £39m to Improve School Broadband Connectivity

Tuesday, Jan 15th, 2013 (7:38 am) - Score 716

The Welsh Government (WG) has this week committed £39 million (Learning in Digital Wales Grant) to ensure that its Schools will all have access to “world-class broadband services” by 2014.

It’s understood that £27m of the targeted capital funding will be used by local authorities in Wales to upgrade School internet connections. Meanwhile the remaining investment of £12m should help to cover upkeep costs, improve ICT hardware and educational services (i.e. primary and special schools will gain a grant of £10,000, while secondary schools will benefit from £20,000).

Secondary schools can apparently expect to benefit from a minimum connection speed of 100Mbps (Megabits per second), while smaller primary and special schools will only gain a 10Mbps solution. The service itself will be delivered via a government ISP (Public Sector Broadband Aggregation).

Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, said:

We want Wales to be a world leader in digital learning, therefore we need to be able to offer our schools fast, consistent and reliable broadband services

This investment will ensure that, by 2014, primary and secondary schools in Wales will have access to safe and secure world-class broadband services needed to deliver a world-class digital education.

The grant funding represents a major step forward in changing the way schools use digital technologies, widening access and driving up standards of performance across the board.”

The new money should perhaps be viewed as part of the country’s wider Digital Wales Strategy, which envisages a roll-out of 30Mbps+ capable superfast broadband ISP services to reach 100% of the country’s businesses by the middle of 2016 and homes by 2020.

BT has already won the £425m contract to improve broadband in Wales and aims for 96% of Welsh homes and businesses to have access to “world class broadband speeds” of up to 80Mbps (FTTC) by the end of 2015.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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