Thousands of rural primary schools to get lightning-fast gigabit broadband upgrade

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Department for Education (DfE) have announced a joint £82 million investment to upgrade the broadband in primary schools across England.

The investment will mean that up to 3,000 primary schools across rural England will get have access to lightning-fast gigabit broadband capable of delivering up to 1,000 megabits per second.

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Children’s opportunities in school should not be pre-determined by where they grow up.

“Today we’re announcing millions of pounds to get lightning-fast broadband connections to rural schools and level up children’s access to the best possible teaching.

The upgrade, which is planned to go ahead over the next three years will cover n rural schools in areas where they are not likely to be connected by commercial rollout currently stuck on outdated copper cables. The programme will cover the costs of connecting the eligible schools

“Teaching has been revolutionised by digital technology and we need to make sure all pupils can benefit from the opportunity it brings.” Dorries continued.

According to a statement from DCMS and DfE, the investment will mean that an estimated 500,000 primary school pupils will be able to use the internet with no interruptions, even if multiple classes are using it at the same time.

The DCMS GigaHubs programme, which is part of Project Gigabit, the government’s £5 billion programmes to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband in hard-to-reach areas of the UK will provide funding for up to 2,000 schools. The other 1,000 schools will be funded by DfE as part of their mission to enable every school in England to access high-speed internet by 2025.

Schools Minister Robin Walker added: “High-speed, reliable internet is crucial to helping schools provide the best possible experience for pupils. This investment will open a whole world of possibilities for schools and teachers in hard-to-reach areas, whether that is through more access to online resources for children, or fast, top-quality video streaming.”

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