Rural primary schools in Derbyshire have benefitted from faster, more reliable fibre broadband as part of a trial run by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Education (DfE).
The trial has been co-ordinated by not-for-profit company, emPSN, who currently manage the secure network infrastructure for over 1200 schools and academies in the East Midlands region.
The local full fibre network programme has enabled more than 100 primary schools in rural areas across England to get gigabit-capable broadband connections as part of the Government’s commitment to improve internet infrastructure in remote areas.
This includes 35 schools in Derbyshire, of which 18 placed orders for full fibre broadband and 2 schools have gone live with their new service, Peak Dale Primary School and Brailsford Church of England Primary School in Derbyshire.
The installation costs for the network infrastructure and set up are being paid for by DCMS and DfE. Schools have been asked to pay for the annual circuit cost, a more affordable option for smaller schools who couldn’t ordinarily access this type of connectivity.
Peak Dale Primary School were one of the first schools in Derbyshire to go live with their faster internet service. Helen Stamp, Head Teacher at Peak Dale said that the school have noticed a huge improvement in broadband speeds and having a reliable internet connection has made a real difference to the way they can use technology in the classroom.
As well as offering an improved connection for the schools, the programme also benefits the local community. Schools act as a hub for the new fibre connection, making access to fibre broadband more viable for local businesses and the wider community.
This programme is likely to be rolled out across the whole of England in the coming months and promises to bring rural schools into the fast lane with technology, giving staff and students the skills to teach and learn on the same level as their urban peers.