We can’t let slow internet speeds stifle learning

The government plans to give up to 3,000 more primary schools access to gigabit-capable broadband

The government plans to give up to 3,000 more primary schools access to gigabit-capable broadband

1 Jul 2022, 11:00

Children’s chance to do well in school should not be determined by where they grow up.

Every pupil should get the best learning experience, whether they live in Preston, Peckham or Padstow.

More and more schools are harnessing the power of digital technology to enhance their offering – be it interactive whiteboards, tablets for pupils or live streaming videos in lessons.

It is vital that schools can keep up with the increasing demand on a school’s internet services and teachers can get on with teaching instead of dealing with the dreaded “spinning wheel” of endless buffering.

Better broadband will empower teachers to use the latest teaching technology and embrace ever-more modern ways of planning and delivering lessons

Unfortunately, schools in rural and other hard-to-reach places up and down the country are being held back by outdated internet connections as it can be too expensive to roll out faster ‘full fibre’ broadband cables to far-flung villages and hamlets where there are comparatively fewer customers.

That’s where the government is stepping in. Our record £5 billion Project Gigabit – the biggest broadband rollout in British history – is making sure hard-to-reach communities don’t miss out on gigabit broadband.

Capable of download speeds of 1,000 megabits per second, “gigabit speeds” are the fastest and most reliable internet connections on the market right now.

They will be absolutely crucial in the coming decades to enable people to benefit from new powerful internet-fuelled technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

£82m project will reach up to 3,000 schools

We have already helped to modernise 1,200 schools with gigabit-capable broadband and today I’m pleased to announce that we are investing £82 million to give as many as 3,000 more primary schools access to these next-generation internet speeds.

The funding is targeted at rural English primary schools struggling with slow speeds. It will be a major digital boost to lessons for up to half a million children and help level-up the communities they live in.

This move will allow schools to change their curriculum and for whole classes to surf the internet on tablets, enjoying easier access to online training and educational games.

Teachers will no longer have to worry about slow speeds stifling learning. Better broadband will empower teachers to use the latest teaching technology and embrace ever-more modern ways of planning and delivering lessons.

The Department for Education is also investing £30 million in the ‘Connect the Classroom’ project to upgrade technology in thousands more schools in priority areas.

Pupils will benefit from faster Wi-Fi and cloud services – meaning they can collaborate and connect from anywhere, as well as linking up with peers, experts and specialists in countries from around the world via live video calling.

For the school itself, access to cloud services means staff can go paperless. They can move away from reliance on local servers to store data, reducing hardware, maintenance and IT support costs.

This huge boost for schools is just the latest in a national mission to plug rural areas into the digital superhighway, so everyone in our country can benefit from exciting advances in digital technology, wherever they work, live or learn.

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One comment

  1. Additional bandwidth only is not the answer, every school should utilise CACHING, since the majority of network traffic in schools are requests for the same content. Schools across the US are fast adopting this technology, it’s funded by the FCC in fact in their ERate program.