Massey Primary has become the first school to go live with a connection to Network for Learning's (N4L) managed network
"Today we are celebrating a significant day for New Zealand schools, as Massey Primary is the first to take advantage of the $211 million that this Government is investing in the managed network,'' said Education Minister Hekia Parata.
"We expect Massey Primary to be quickly followed by connections to Mt Aspiring College in Wanaka and Waimate High School in South Canterbury, meaning schools at both ends of the country will very soon have access to funded, high quality, fast internet and uncapped data to enhance learning.
"In addition, N4L is announcing today the next 100 schools to be connected by the end of term one, 2014," she said.
At least 200 schools are expected to be on the managed network by the first term of next year. By the end of 2014, more than 700 schools are expected to get N4L connections, with all schools being able to connect by 2016.
Massey is using a 100Mbps N4L connection with no data caps, which is about 10x faster than what they were previously getting with their ADSL internet that was capped at 30GB of data per month. The N4L connection will enable the school to download and upload data at a rate of 100Mbps.
"Since we've received the news in October that we'd be connecting to N4L this year, we've fast-tracked our plans to use digital technologies in the classroom and provide training for our teachers.
"The Board of Trustees has also approved the purchase of more devices. All of this will help us create better learning opportunities for our students," said principal of the school Bruce Barnes.
According to N4L, the network's performance will be monitored in real-time to ensure schools have enough capacity for teaching and learning.
"We recognise that every school uses the internet differently and our connection packages will be responsive and flexible to the changing nature of how schools use the internet. Teachers and students need the internet to perform all the time and we've designed the managed network to ensure schools have more than enough bandwidth at all times," said John Hanna, CEO of N4L.
Wanaka's Mt Aspiring College and South Canterbury's Waimate High School are expected to be "live" with N4L connections over the next few days, with at least another 18 schools scheduled to follow suit before the holidays.