29 Oct 2013
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Christchurch schools get wireless upgrade

By Rebecca Wood

More than 50 schools in Christchurch will have their wireless network upgraded as part of the national Schools Network Upgrade Project (SNUP).

Nikki Kaye, associate education minister, says the 57 schools will be able to make full use of ultra-fast broadband with entire campus coverage through the upgrade of the wireless network.

“Schools need a robust network infrastructure to make full use of ultra-fast broadband and to maximise teaching and learning opportunities. SNUP provides a subsidised upgrade of the school’s network infrastructure in order to maximise these benefits for staff and students,” she says.

“[The] announcement confirms the government’s commitment to providing digital infrastructure to schools including access to fibre, school network upgrades and a managed network with affordable, high speed, quality connections and uncapped monthly data.”

Many of the schools are also part of the Greater Christchurch Education Renewal Programme, which is not just a response to school earthquake damage, but a wider opportunity to upgrade school property.

The network upgrade will support schools to provide the latest technology and will support the use of flexible teaching spaces, creating options for teachers to tailor learning for small or larger groups.

“Our vision for Christchurch is that students are connected and have internet access no matter where they are in the school,” says Kaye.

“Young New Zealanders need IT skills and access to the tools of a modern economy to succeed. By 2016, 97.7% of schools will have access to ultra-fast broadband connections.”

The Christchurch schools upgrade includes fully-funded audits of the school’s current IT infrastructure, ICT cabling as required for the wireless network, wireless equipment, a suitable backup device if none exists and an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), where required, to protect IT equipment from power fluctuations. It also provides a new server if there is no existing server.

The programme will be rolled out over the next six to nine months.

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