Ultrafast broadband reaches schools

The Government has presented today the project of extending access to ultrafast broadband of the Spanish educational centers, which is endowed with a budget of 330 million euros and which will be articulated through a framework agreement between the Ministries of Education, Culture and Sports; of Industry, Energy and Tourism and Economy and Competitiveness.

This measure will benefit more than 6.5 million students and all of the more than 16,500 Spanish public non-university teaching centers and those supported by public funds. The project will provide Internet connectivity through ultrafast broadband networks (100 Megabits per second) to schools and institutes and will pay special attention to those who, due to their location, find it more difficult to access these new connectivity services. It will also be possible to equip educational centers with internal communication networks (Wi-Fi), as well as equipment (routers, antennas, network management systems ...).

What is ultrafast broadband

It is a speed connection equal to or greater than 100 Megabits per second, which is established through fiber optic connections or through 4.5 G radio links (LTE-Advance). Use the 4.5G technologies used in mobile networks

Why this ultrafast network is needed in schools

Spain is one of the European countries with the lowest availability of ultrafast broadband in schools. Studies show that medium-sized centers (between 100 and 500 students, 60% of centers) need speeds between 20 and 60 Mbps so that students and teachers can simultaneously access the Internet. Centers between 500 and 1,000 students need between 90 and 120 Mbps.

What allows connectivity between schools

1. High quality connection through the internal network of the center to guarantee the access of each teacher and each student in each classroom and in each desk.
2. Connection of high quality with the network and educational services of the respective CCAA.
3. Connection of high quality with the network and educational services of other Autonomous Regions and the State.
4. High quality connection with Internet.

High-speed connectivity is a necessary element for the effective implementation of ICT in the classroom and in any activity of the centers. It will allow teachers and students to access the services and digital educational content of the Autonomous Communities, the State, and those available through the Internet. In addition, it will facilitate the transformation of the teaching methodology and guarantee equity in the access to technologies by the students.

An ambitious project for public centers

The project is aimed at all public Primary and Secondary education centers, that is, a total of 16,647 centers and 6,588,526 students. The 330 million euros that has been allocated to this project will be co-financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), charged to the Plurirregional Operational Program for Smart Growth.

The works will be executed through public tenders so that the different operators can offer their best technical and economic solutions in concurrency, which will also have the effect of extending the availability of state-of-the-art digital infrastructures to the entire population, and especially to the most isolated

This project that complements those that may be developing the Autonomous Communities, will be carried out by signing this year of specific agreements with each of those who decide to join. They will set the commitments of the parties, the specific actions to be carried out in each territory and the implementation schedule so that schools can use ultrafast broadband connections from 2016.

Marisol New

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