13 Jul 2015
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N4L: 1815 schools and counting as connections steam ahead

By Heather Wright

More than 572,000 Kiwi students and teachers across 1815 schools can now access safe, fast internet thanks to the government-funded Managed Network.

The Ministry of Education says nearly 40 schools connected to the network in the last few months, taking the total to 1815 so far. Of those, almost 1750 are now ‘live’ on the network. Average time between connection and ‘go live’ on the network is 15 days, with the vast majority of schools live within six weeks of connection.

Among those joining in the last two months are 13 Southland schools, including ones in Bluff, Invercargill, Nightcaps, Otautau, Waikaia and Oamaru. Northland, Taumarunui and Ngaruawahia schools have also joined recently.

In May Education Minister Hekia Parata said more than 95% of schools have registered to use the network, which offers safe, reliable and fast internet with uncapped data.

The ministry says connections are running ‘well ahead’ of schedule.

More than $200 million has been invested in the project, which is run by Network for Learning (N4L), the crown company building the network, and aims to enable schools to make the most of digital technologies and give young people the skill sand confidence they need to succeed in an ever-changing world.

The project has garnered kudos, winning the IBM Most Innovative Award at the 2015 New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards and being named a finalist for the Best Technology for the Public Sector award.

In addition to the managed network, N4L is building a Network for Learning portal, Pond, which 6000-plus teachers are using to find and share learning resources and engage with their peers.

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