Wireless Nation and Network for Learning (N4L) have rolled out the Rural Connectivity Group's (RCG) new 4G network to better connect three Chatham Islands schools.
Launched in April, the initiative is the result of the Ministry of Education's mission to connect every school in Aotearoa and has been made possible because of the Government's Rural Broadband Initiative phase two.
“A key objective for the Ministry of Education is to reduce barriers to education, and continually improving the Managed Network service is an essential component to meet this in an increasingly digital world,” Matihiko Te Puna Hanganga business services group manager Rob Campbell says.
“This improved service for some of New Zealand's most geographically remote schools means better connectivity for the learners and their local communities.
“The Ministry is very pleased with the work N4L and Wireless Nation have done to enhance connectivity for schools on the Chatham Islands.
The network offers students and teachers in Kaingaroa School, Pitt Island School and Te One School access to more reliable and faster internet.
The Chatham Islands often experienced internet outages before the upgrade because of their remote location and wet and windy climate.
Kaingaroa School principal Philip Graydon says the internet is three times faster than before.
“It's now reliable especially when our students are on Mathletics!,” Graydon says.
“Previously, about 30% of Zoom calls would fail and drop out.
“Since the install, no Zoom or Teams calls have failed.
N4L is a Crown-owned technology company focused on closing the digital divide by offering better customer support, internet, cybersecurity and cyber safety products and services.
The company has built New Zealand's largest managed network, which it also operates.
In doing so, it meets the connectivity and cybersecurity needs of over 2,450 schools and kura and more than 855,000 teachers.
“One of our priorities at N4L is ensuring all schools and kura across the country have access to a network that's fit for purpose,” N4L CEO Larrie Moore says.
“Schools' terrain and remoteness can make this a challenge, so we're delighted to be able to bring 4G to these three schools.
“The new network will offer more learning opportunities and experiences to ākonga, giving them brighter futures.
Founded in 2005, Wireless Nation is a local internet service provider that offers fast broadband to homes and businesses throughout New Zealand.
N4L worked closely with Wireless Nation to deliver the 4G Fixed Wireless Broadband service for the Chatham Islands schools.
“Wireless Nation is delighted to partner with N4L to achieve a successful upgrade rollout, despite challenges in logistics,” Wireless Nation general manager Andy Derleth says.
“The new 4G network is a major leap for the community to have access to simple and easily deployable 4G Wireless Broadband offerings.