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Schools UFB network appoints new CEO

23 Nov 12

New Zealand’s 2,600 schools took another step to getting safe and affordable UFB with the appointment of John Hanna as CEO, to lead the organisation tasked with making it happen.

A former telecommunications company CEO with over 30 years of technology experience, Hanna will be responsible for forming the Networking for Learning (N4L) team, which is expected to employ approximately 40 staff across Auckland and Wellington.

Effective from December 3, Hanna will head a network supplying 800,000-plus school learners a range of online content and centrally-procured services, making it the biggest network of its kind in New Zealand.

“John has the right mix of technology, telecommunications and business acumen to drive the company forward and execute the aggressive strategy the board has developed for this initiative," says Helen Robinson, N4L chair.

For the three years prior to joining N4L, Hanna was CEO of internet and data centre services provider Maxnet, joining N4L following 18 years holding leadership positions within local and multinational technology companies.

“I am very excited to be involved in something that is going to make such a difference to the growth of New Zealand’s future leaders and businesses,” Hanna says.

“The more we can empower our children from a digital and knowledge perspective, the more they will have the option to make a difference in the type of businesses that will drive New Zealand forward.”

As CEO, Hanna will be working with the board to bring network for learning services to market.

According to N4L this includes high definition video conferencing, multi-media resources, learning management systems, offsite data backup and storage, and a range of curriculum-enhancing applications which schools can elect to use as part of N4L’s core packaged services or for a minimal cost.

One of Hanna's first tasks as CEO will be to announce the retail service providers which successfully tendered for a contract to connect the schools to ultra-fast internet.

An announcement is expected before Christmas, and it is anticipated that N4L services will be available to schools by April 2013.