N4L names IT companies to support schools' upgrade
Today Network for Learning (N4L) is naming an initial list of eight IT support companies to assist the Crown Company with its rollout of smarter and safer internet services to 2450+ schools across New Zealand.
Designed to meet the schools’ changing needs around internet capacity and security, N4L began a programme of work to upgrade the government-funded Managed Network earlier this month, which is expected to be complete by October 2019.
All N4L-approved IT support companies have been selected based on their extensive experience supporting schools, with many having already helped N4L connect schools to the Managed Network when it was first built.
“We are excited to be partnering with highly-skilled technology companies which have a proven track-record of working successfully with schools, and we look forward to announcing more partners in due course,” says Mr Moore. “Our technology partners are very important as they will be instrumental in helping N4L ensure the rollout is delivered in a timely and seamless manner with the right levels of support provided along the way.
The appointed IT support companies will be visiting every school, transitioning them to a new combined firewall and internet filtering solution. To date, the average transition time for the 100+ schools upgraded in August ranged from five minutes to an hour, with minimal impact on the school’s internet connectivity during this time.*
Cambridge Middle School was among the first to be upgraded by one of the named IT support companies.
“It was super helpful to have someone here, on the ground, to take care of the technology for us and make sure the upgrade went smoothly for us,” says Acting Deputy Principal Gareth Gilmour. “We are responsible for providing a safe learning environment for our students so access to technology and support that helps us protect our kids online - delivered at no extra cost to the school - is really important given the range of learning activities our students use the internet for.”
With the help of its technology partners, N4L expects to upgrade around 260 schools every month, with a schools’ size, complexity, and location informing the rollout schedule.
In addition to enhanced protection against online threats and improved internet filtering tools, the Managed Network Upgrade will provide schools with smarter reporting tools, and an easier way for schools to get more bandwidth.