Where’s the upgrade path to 10Mb Internet there? It’s worse than that though. Only 27% of schools get broadband via a wired service. 26% via wireless. There is no easy way for those schools to get fibre, now is there? I’m glad Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan is thinking about the children and their broadband connection but it seems like he’s considering their situation and then that’s it.
PQ via Liz McManus:
To the Minister for Education and Science
To ask the Minister for Education and Science the number of schools in the broadband for schools initiative that have satellite internet, fibre, DSL and wireless; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Liz McManus. (Nominated by: Liz McManus).
Go to the Oireachtas Website if you want to find the full record, I’m not going to hurt my eyes and hands going through it for you.
Minister of State, Barry Andrews
Of the 3,905 local connectivity installations, 27%, or 1,051 schools have fixed
line services, 26% or 1,028 schools have wireless services and 47% or 1,826
schools have satellite services. A further 72 schools have had broadband
access provided under the Hermes and Advanced Deployment programmes and are not
included in the 3,905 schools. The split of technology services across these
72 schools is 43 fixed line services, 25 wireless services and 4 satellite
Not great at al now is it? No mention of fibre but that might come under fixed-line. I know there are some schools connected to fibre.
Having regard to the usage levels observed by HEAnet, my Department has
procured additional bandwidth from its two satellite providers to improve the
broadband connection speeds for schools on this portion of the Schools
Broadband Network. The situation continues to be monitored closely. In
addition, my Department has migrated schools to superior alternative
technologies, where feasible.
I’m unaware of any satellite systems that can increase their bandwidth to anything over 2Mb in this country due to our location on the edge of Europe.
My Department will shortly issue a Request for Tenders for the next round of
service. The priority for the new procurement process will be to ensure that
the broadband services to schools keep in line with national infrastructure
improvements. The RFT will seek tenders which at least maintain the existing
service that schools currently receive. Having regard to the general
developments in broadband availability nationally, improved service offerings
are expected to be received under the new tender process.
At least maintain the existing service that schools currently receive? Hello? This already sounds like a cop-out. You’ll read further down they talk about 100megs into schools and now they talk here about at least what the schools have now. For half that means crapalite.
My Department will also collaborate with the Department of Communications,
Energy and Natural Resources to pursue the Government objective of equipping
second-level schools with 100Mb per second of broadband connectivity and
installing local area networks, as outlined in the Consultation Paper on Next
Got kids in schools? Depressed yet?