Welsh government to spend £39m on faster broadband in schools

By Sooraj Shah
15 Jan 2013 View Comments
Welsh flag set against blue skies

The Welsh government has invested £39m into faster broadband services for schools, the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones has announced.

The investment comes from a new "Learning In Digital Wales Grant" that aims to help students to access better quality broadband services.

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It comes after the launch of Hwb, a digital learning platform for all students aged 3-19 in Wales that aims to help teachers and students to access online resources from any internet-enabled device.

An initial investment of £27m will comprise targeted capital funding for local authorities to upgrade internet connections in their schools.

About £7m of this will be handed to Wales' public sector internet provider Public Sector Broadband Aggregation (PSBA), to upgrade its core network and provide a faster broadband service to schools.

Under the initiative, local authorities can provide primary and special schools within their area with £10,000, and secondary schools with £20,000, to improve ICT infrastructure and purchase ICT hardware to aid teachers and students.

Education minister Leighton Andrews said that the new funding will help to eradicate difficulties that schools in Wales have experienced in accessing online resources.

"Schools across Wales have told us of the difficulties they have experienced in accessing online resources due to varying degrees of broadband connectivity. This is even more frustrating considering that many schools have the plans, equipment and enthusiasm to offer a high standard of digital education to their pupils," he said.

"This new funding will allow pupils and teachers to make full use of the online tools and resources provided by Hwb and also create and host their own local secure learning platforms," he added.

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