Schools to get next-generation wireless internet technology (Wi-Fi 6)
Schools will get a more seamless and safer internet experience thanks to a nationwide upgrade of school network equipment led by Network for Learning (N4L) that involves the next-generation of wireless technology (Wi-Fi 6).
Today N4L is announcing the partners that will assist them with this upgrade, with a panel of 19 local technology companies selected to install the new equipment. A further ten technology companies have been appointed to a second panel that will provide schools tech support for connecting devices to their upgraded network if needed.
N4L, the Crown company responsible for connecting students and teachers to safe and reliable internet, has appointed the two new technology panels following a competitive tender process. Successful applicants are named on N4L’s website here.
As more schools begin to offer exams online and explore new ways of using technology for learning, the new Wi-Fi 6 network equipment will allow more student devices to connect to the school’s internet and stream simultaneously, without impacting speed or reliability.
N4L CEO Larrie Moore welcomes the new partners and says a new timetable is being drafted given no upgrades took place during to Covid-19 Alert Level 4. He says the safety of schools and technicians is a top priority and everyone going into schools for the upgrade will strictly adhere to health and safety requirements while installing the new equipment.
“We’re delighted to have appointed two panels of highly-skilled technology providers who have proven track-records of achieving results and working successfully with schools,” says Mr Moore. “Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the success of the upgrade and we look forward to working with them in the years ahead.”
“Due to Covid-19, we’ll be doing things slightly different than we had originally planned and we’re working closely with the Ministry of Education and our technology partners to work out the revised schedule and rollout process to keep everyone safe.”
Earlier this month, the Ministry of Education (MOE) selected the Wi-Fi 6 equipment supplier (CommScope Ruckus). And N4L is responsible for the installation, management and ongoing support of this equipment within the schools.
As such, N4L will be alerted of network performance issues remotely, so they can troubleshoot them for schools, freeing up time and resources for busy teaching staff to focus on student learning.
Dawn Fenn, a teaching principal at Woodhill School, a fast-growing rural school in Helensville says she is looking forward to the upgrade: “Technology plays a growing role in our school – we are bringing in more devices to support the kids’ learning so the upgrade will be a big help for us.
“Network for Learning will know remotely if something’s gone wrong; they’re able to help me remotely; and do all those things that would otherwise just add to my jobs list; and solve those for me, which is just fantastic. They’re able to help me with problems that I have, especially when I haven’t got the expertise to be able to do it myself, as a teaching principal with five year groups in the class.”
The upgrade is part of a wider programme, Te Mana Tūhono (the power of connectivity) launched by MOE to remove the burden on schools to monitor, maintain and manage their school networks.
About The Network for Learning (N4L)
N4L is a Crown company supporting the government’s goals for education since 2013 through its ‘Managed Network’, which today connects 99.9% of New Zealand schools and kura to safe, fast, reliable internet services that are fully funded and supported for state and state-integrated schools. The company blocked more than 582 million security threats from impacting school internet users during its 2019 reporting period (1 July 2018- 30 June 2019). N4L has also been named New Zealand’s 2018 Broadband Provider of the Year and works alongside education, government, and technology partners to help schools get the most from digital connectivity and keep their students safe online.