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Wales Boosts Funding by £5m to Upgrade Broadband at 400 Schools

Saturday, November 19th, 2016 (7:28 am) - Score 331
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The Welsh Government (WG) has committed an extra £5 million to help upgrade the broadband connectivity at around 400 schools that have struggled to meet the demand or infrastructure requirements of the existing programme.

Back in 2013 the WG launched a new grant scheme (Learning in Digital Wales) that offered £39 million to help ensure that all of the country’s “participating” Schools (i.e. those that had signed up to use the scheme) would have access to “world-class broadband services” by July 2014 (here). The eventual goal was to get all schools, participating or not, upgraded by 2020.

Under this plan Secondary schools would be given access to a minimum connection speed of 100Mbps (Megabits per second), while smaller primary and special schools would only gain a 10Mbps solution.

The Learning in Digital Wales Grant (LiDW Grant):

* Provision of up to 1Gbps (Gigabits per second) of internet connectivity to local authorities and 2 x 20Gbps connections to the Janet network, to improve the overall capacity of the network for education purposes and address ‘backhaul’ issues which impact adversely on schools’ broadband access.

* Combination of capital and revenue funding to secure 10Mbps (Megabits per second) connections to primary and special schools and 100Mbps to secondary schools.

* Capital grants funding worth £10,000 per primary and special school and £20,000 per secondary school to improve local network infrastructure for schools.

Despite this some 400 Schools continue to exist in areas that lack the necessary infrastructure or demand to achieve a good “superfast broadband” connection and so the Welsh Government has now committed an extra £5 million to tackle those.

The Welsh Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams, said (here): “It is our national mission to raise standards and extend opportunities for all our young people. As part of this we are creating a curriculum fit for the 21st century.”

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Mark Jackson
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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