Broadband too costly for some schools
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 6:12p.m.
By Tony Field
A number of schools that have had ultrafast broadband links installed say they just cannot afford to use them.
Among them is Matakana School, which has had the technology for over six months but does not have the $12,000 a month to use it.
The school was delighted when late last year the Ministry of Economic Development connected them to the ultrafast broadband network, but principal Darrel Goosen says the connection came with a catch.
“What we didn’t realise is there is no one who would provide the service,” he says. “We are not even 100km from Auckland, we are part of the Auckland super city. I don’t believe we are totally out in the wop wops here.”
Over half a year later, only one company has even been willing to give them a quote for a data plan.
The school's current internet provider has offered it a deal to provide ultra fast broadband, but depending on the speed it would cost the school anywhere from $2,900 to $12,000 a month.
Mr Goosen says that is quite a leap from the $160 a month the school is currently paying for regular broadband.
“It defies imagination, it is impossible for schools to cope with that amount,” he says.
Jill Corkin is the principal of nearby Snell’s Beach School and president of the Auckland Primary Principals' Association, and says that other schools are having the same problem.
“We are aware of other schools, particularly rural fringe schools, that have had the fibre put in but are experiencing the same problem that we are in this area here,” she says.
The Ministry of Education has plans to offer affordable ultrafast broadband from the middle of next year, by which point around 1,500 schools will be connected. It is likely to negotiate a bulk deal on behalf of schools.
Mr Goosen says it will be a frustrating wait for those schools affected.
“We're sitting here, we're waiting, parents are anticipating, students are anticipating this change, and nothings happened,” he says.
For now, the ministry is advising schools to try to band together to negotiate affordable data plans.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
24/07/2012 8:22:21 p.m.
I would like to defend the Ministry of Education on this one. They are in the process of setting up a National Learning Network (NLN) that will not be cheap to run, when they get it up and going it will be best accessed with the fibre that is being installed. When this is ready, mid next year, they will be organising connections for everyone, until then they are putting the infrastructure in place so that schools will be ready. The capital expenditure for putting the infrastructure in place is the same whether done now or in a years time, and it will take time to do. In regards to Mel's comment that school's are having to pay for everything inside the school, this is simply not true. There is another programme of work called the Schools Network Upgrade Project (SNUP) that is going through all schools to upgrade their internal network. The MoE is funding 80% of the cost of these upgrades. UFBs complete implementation is not going to happen overnight but it will happen.
24/07/2012 6:19:08 p.m.
Why can't the internet providers give the schools discount package?? I mean $2000 a month is too expensive plus hidden cost, seriously?? Its bad enough that the schools are struggling to cut cost on teacher's salaries and other school essentials.. Come on Minister of Education.. Do you job to help the next generation of our country.. just saying
23/07/2012 4:41:08 p.m.
Why do we have to pay for access to the internet? I will never know. Maby its tele monolopy wanting to be even richer. I demand free access to data. The only cost should is buying more HDD's for storing all my downloads via a Bittorrent Client. DONT USE THE CLOUD FOR YOUR DATA.
21/07/2012 10:44:24 a.m.
My tax dollars well spent...
21/07/2012 8:47:20 a.m.
Question: How fast was the internet connection before the fibre?How fast is it now?Even on their existing $160 month plan, the speed increase is likely to be huge. So they find the ultra-fast too expensive - yet!The data rates are coming down, as the ultra fast was much more restricted and much more expensive than it is now.I do live in a town and have noticed the speeds increase. When I first got broadband dial-up was 32k bps and broadband started from 64k bps and quickly jumped to 200k bps. Over the copper wire with more fibre laid I now get as much as 20mbps. Its not ultra-fast yet (and ultra-fast not available in my area yet), but not too bad over the copper wire and general speed even during peak times around 10mbps. With local network speed of 1gbps, internet is still slow ...The instalation of fibre to the schools gives them much faster internet compared to what they had even if they only continue to spend the $160/month on broadband. With the fibre the schools should now get perfromance at the top end of their (non ultra-fast)plan, while before the fibre it would have been a fraction of that.
20/07/2012 9:37:53 p.m.
Yeah, another ill thought through policy by this govt... giveth with one hand and taketh with another.
Not only is the fact that there is no provider willing to provide the service through the new super fibre at a price schools can afford, but there are other hidden costs too.
The govt pays for the fibre to get to the gate of the school... and then the school has to pay for that to reach the servers and the classrooms and offices... but the govt hasn't provided the schools with the budget to do this. Despite schools having to plan their property and furniture budgets up to fives years in advance, they are being told by MOE officials to dump those plans and use the money instead (the whole five years worth) to pay for fibre installation.... and the kicker is that often you are only told days before it will be installed that it is being done!!
Great idea, but a big FAIL on the execution!!
In Khandallah, in Wellington, there is a a piece of road whe...
An Auckland father is outraged his 14-year-old daughter was ...
Paul and Yvonne Stokes, and Keith Lush have some good news f...
Shortly KidsCan and Lumino will distribute 8500 packs filled...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.