Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye has announced that the $211 million project to provide schools with faster internet is running about twelve months ahead of schedule.
“The rollout was due to be completed by the end of 2016, but I’m delighted to confirm that schools are being connected much faster than expected," Kaye says.
“N4L, which is rolling out the Managed Network for schools, has advised me they now expect around ninety per cent of schools will be connected by the end of this year."
Kaye is visiting Pukekohe Intermediate in South Auckland, which is the 1,267th school to be connected, meaning half of New Zealand schools, or around 400,000 students and 28,000 teachers, now have fast, reliable internet.
"Because schools which sign up for the Managed Network get uncapped connections funded by the crown, many are also ending up with thousands more in their operating budgets that would previously have been spent on internet connections," Kaye adds.
“The government is investing heavily in education, and believes all young people should have access to high quality internet for learning, no matter where they live and go to school.
“The faster we connect schools, the more opportunities kids have to make the most of the online learning resources available to them."
Kaye says the Managed Network is helping bring the internet to kids who might not otherwise be able to access it, and it's also expanding the learning opportunities for everyone in the classroom.
“Ultimately, this is about giving young people skills and confidence for the future, where technology will play a huge role in their careers and everyday lives," she adds.
The N4L Managed Network, a Crown company, expects up to 90% of New Zealand's 2,500 plus schools will be connected to the Managed Network by the end of 2015.