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Welsh government helps schools access superfast broadband

16/06/2017 Joanna

The Welsh government has outlined the steps it is taking to help more schools across Wales get access to superfast broadband services.

A total of 341 schools across Wales are set to get connected to a superfast broadband service thanks to the allocation of £5 million of investment in November 2016, with initial orders for the new services having been placed. The first deliveries are expected early in the 2017/18 academic year.

Currently, all schools in Wales are required to be equipped with minimum broadband speeds of 10Mbps for primary schools and 100Mbps for secondary schools, but some have not been able to meet this requirement due to technical limitations, despite growing demand.

The government's latest investment immediate increase in speed, as well as laying a foundation to ensure that connectivity is able to increase further in future as requirements change.

Education secretary Kirsty Williams said: "Making sure every school, no matter where they are based, has access to superfast broadband remains a priority for me. We know demand for broadband speed in schools will continue to increase; it is simply unacceptable for a school to be at a significant disadvantage due to poor internet speeds."

This comes at a time when the development and teaching of digital skills has become a key consideration across all parts of the Welsh curriculum, rather than simply being isolated to specific IT or computer science classes. This is because of a growing recognition of the need to prepare students to succeed in an increasingly connected and digitised world.

The government's Hwb digital learning platform, which provides pupils and teachers in Wales with access to a centrally-funded range of online tools and resources, received more than 3.2 million page views and averaged over 28,000 logins each day in March 2017, meaning the service is significantly exceeding original expectations.

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