N4L keeps student-focussed safe internet services a top priority

The Crown company tasked with connecting New Zealand schools to student-focussed internet services, Network for Learning (N4L) will end its support for Pond, a portal for teachers to find and share resources, on 28 June.

Pond was built five years ago by N4L as an online community for teachers to access trusted education-related content and services. Since then, other online communities backed by global tech companies have gained in popularity. Teachers are choosing to use these platforms, with few actively using Pond.

The resources needed to maintain and grow Pond are not within N4L’s scope or budget.

“As a Crown company, N4L focusses on the job our shareholding ministers have asked us to do, and that’s providing world-class, safe and secure connectivity to all state and state-integrated schools,” says N4L CEO Larrie Moore.

Last year these efforts were recognised by the tech sector when N4L was named New Zealand’s 2018 Broadband Provider of the Year.

The Managed Network has always been the company’s primary focus,” says Mr Moore. “And today, we are over three quarters of the way through a major upgrade of the Managed Network that will strengthen the online safety and security of schools and their students.”

A focus on safer and smarter internet services

The online safety of the students and teachers using N4L’s Managed Network services is a top priority for the company. Next month, the company will have completed a nationwide rollout of new cyber security technology to 2400+ schools designed to help protect them against the rise of malicious online threats.

The upgrade also provides every young person with extra protection from inappropriate web material and online threats while learning at school. N4L will be investing further in the Managed Network by developing new reporting tools that will help schools better understand and manage student internet use.

Prior to the decision to close Pond, the company sought feedback from its most active supporters and contributors, who understood the reasons for its closure.

The company’s customer satisfaction levels are consistently high, well above 90% since the company’s launch in 2013, and Mr Moore says, “We must keep our daily focus on ensuring we continue to retain the trust and meet the needs of schools. This includes working with the best technology partners to ensure the services we offer continue to be world-class, with safety and security being paramount.”