Today N4L is marking a milestone with 90% of the country’s schools connected to its Managed Network, providing more than 735,000 teachers and students throughout New Zealand access to fast, uncapped internet running at predictable speeds in their classrooms.

Associate Minister of Education Nikki Kaye announced the milestone today in a press release celebrating a number of digital learning milestones, noting the Managed Network rollout is running about a year ahead of schedule, with the remaining schools able to connect next year.

N4L is also marking the two-year anniversary since the first school connection, with West Auckland’s Massey Primary connecting to the Managed Network at the end of November 2013.

Currently, there are just under 2,300 connected schools and N4L CEO John Hanna says he’s encouraged by the company’s achievements to date, but also acknowledges there is still more work to be done once all schools are connected.

“The way schools use the internet is constantly evolving and the demand is skyrocketing, with increasing numbers using online learning programmes and video,” says Mr Hanna. “We are keeping ahead of the demand curve trend by proactively building new capability into the network, ensuring schools have more than enough internet to meet their classroom needs, and that they’ve got access to tools like web filtering to keep the environment safe for students.”

Annual-Report-2015-graph

Bandwidth consumed by connected schools from Aug 2014 to June 2015

Mr Hanna credits the steady rollout rate to the company’s collaborative approach: “Our recipe for success is to work very closely with schools and technology vendors, such as Spark Digital, to ensure every school’s needs are catered to, and that our technology and services are designed with growth in mind.”

New Plymouth Girls High Principal Jennifer Ellis says her school, with just under 1300 students, is pleased with its recent Managed Network connection: “With the N4L Managed Network, our internet speed and availability has improved many times over, and our costs to deliver this service have been reduced to near zero. We have a BYOD program as well as a high ratio of computers per student, and being on the Managed Network helps us achieve our goals of providing excellent teaching and learning experiences across all levels and subject areas.”

A recent survey among schools which have used the Managed Network for six months or longer indicates that 94% of respondents feel more confident in implementing their digital strategy as a result of being connected to the N4L Managed Network and 71% increased their use of digital technology within the first six months of connecting.

Fast facts: internet traffic in schools from August to October 2015

In the last three months, N4L has noticed a significant increase in traffic running on the Managed Network, with schools collectively accessing 12.9 billion web pages, streaming 1.7 million minutes of video and using 1.8 petabytes of data. In the same period, N4L’s web filtering and network security services have blocked more than 191 million inappropriate pages; 19k viruses and 1.3 million instances of adware, spyware and other unwanted applications.

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
Julie Landry, N4L Communications, 09 222 0142 or julie.landry@n4l.co.nz

Note: An interactive map of all participating schools can be viewed at: http://map.n4l.co.nz/


About Network for Learning (N4L)
N4L (Network for Learning) is a Crown company formed to provide all New Zealand students and teachers equitable access to high quality internet services and dynamic digital content for learning. The aim is to improve educational outcomes by enabling new learning opportunities presented by digital technologies and the government’s investment in ultra-fast broadband (UFB). The company is achieving this by building a Managed Network especially designed for schools and an online learning hub called Pond, which won “Most Innovative Initiative” at the 2015 Hi-Tech awards (the Managed Network also won the 2015 ANZIA (Aus & NZ Internet) Award for ‘Access & Digital Skills”). Together, these initiatives are about investing in our young people, digitally empowering their education for a future-ready, world-ready Aotearoa New Zealand.