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Ultra Fast Broadband Trialled In Rural Schools

Ultra Fast Satellite Broadband To Be Trialled In Rural Schools

Children at two rural South Island schools will soon have access to high-speed rural satellite broadband thanks to a one month trial set up by Farmside due to begin this month.

Haast School on the West Coast and Winchester Rural School in South Canterbury will have access to Farmside’s satellite broadband for one month at speeds up to 10Mbps. This will allow for a range of services from high quality video conferencing through to online applications such as Mathletics. It will be fully integrated with a range of Ministry of Education services.

Haast School Principal, Jill Cogger, is delighted with the opportunity this will provide her students.

“Our current connection makes it extremely difficult to provide internet-based learning activities. It’s a real shame for our children as it means they miss out on opportunities and skills that children in urban areas are exposed to.

“The thought of having high-speed broadband with improved speeds and capability is exciting for us and teachers are already planning how we can make the most of it,” says Ms Cogger.

The government has acknowledged the need for high-speed broadband in the rural sector, noting that high-speed broadband is a vital part of ensuring students get a 21st century education in a 21st century economy.

Farmside’s CEO, Tony Baird, believes it is important to ensure rural children have the same advantages as their urban counterparts.

“Fibre will be a valid option for a number of rural schools in the future. We can have satellite broadband to many rural schools giving them 10Mbps connections within months,” says Mr Baird.

“Interactive learning opens up a new world for pupils. This is especially important in rural schools where classrooms are often made up of several year levels due to small rolls. Multi-media distance learning can help expand what rural schools can offer.”

Satellite broadband is an excellent and cost-effective bridging technology.


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