- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Latest News
The news that teaching and learning in Welsh schools will be transformed thanks to £39million of investment in faster broadband services has today been welcomed by Labour’s Swansea East Assembly Member, Mike Hedges.
The new Learning in Digital Wales Grant, which was announced by First Minister Carwyn Jones, will ensure that learners are able to access faster, high-quality broadband services which are both robust and reliable. The investment will initially comprise of £27m of targeted capital funding for local authorities to upgrade internet connections in their schools. Where needed, local authorities will also be able to provide their primary and special schools with £10,000 and their secondary schools with £20,000 to improve ICT infrastructure and purchase ICT hardware to support teaching and learning.
This announcement follows the launch in December of Hwb, a digital learning platform for all learners aged 3-19 in Wales. Hwb will allow teachers and learners to access online resources anywhere, at any time and from any internet enabled device. The new grant scheme will ensure that learners in Wales can have equal access to the tools and resources provided by Hwb, providing an equal educational experience for learners across the country and establishing a level playing field for broadband connectivity.
The initial £27m investment will provide £7 million to Wales’ public sector internet provider, Public Sector Broadband Aggregation (PSBA) to upgrade its core network and provide a faster broadband service to schools. The remaining £20 million capital funding will be allocated to local authorities over two financial years (2012-13 and 2013-14).
The funding will allow local authorities to improve connection speeds to the PSBA network to a minimum of 100Mbps for each secondary school and 10Mbps for each primary and special school by 2014. £12 million will also be provided in the form of funding for the revenue costs of improved broadband services during 2013-15.