Somerset schools set to benefit from free full-fibre broadband

As it continues its mission to develop its gigabit network, West Country full-fibre infrastructure provider gets local educational establishments enrolled on broadband fast lane

To support learning and make sure pupils in schools in the West Country are able to gain fast broadband access, ISP Truespeed is offering select schools free ultrafast broadband connectivity for life.

The Bath-based full-fibre infrastructure provider is to offer staff and students at 50 rural schools in the Banes (Bath and North East Somerset) and Somerset local authority areas to gain the connectivity.

Truespeed said that reliable, ultrafast broadband was now a must-have for schools as they rely on digital technologies and cloud-based storage and services to plan and teach the curriculum.

Many schools also rely on email as a cost-effective and efficient way to keep in touch with parents. Moreover, the ISP said that as a community-focused business it can provide schools passed by its network with a free gigabit-capable service. This, it says, will ensure that school-age children have fast, reliable internet access to support their education. 

The UK government has committed to delivering nationwide gigabit-capable broadband as soon as possible, with the ambition to deliver it by over the next five years. It said that such next-generation connectivity has the potential to revolutionise communities and make them more attractive places to live, giving people the freedom to live and work more flexibly and help to develop thriving digital economies.

Truespeed’s stated mission is bringing hard-to-connect parts of the South West into the digital fast lane. Its deployment methods for rural communities include connecting fibre cables to existing ducting and poles used for telephone and power lines, minimising disruption to local residents and businesses.

The company currently guarantees network speeds of 200Mbps to all residential customers and 1Gbps to businesses, with the promise of 10Gbps for any business that needs it. In a recent deployment and its latest expansion of the UK’s full-fibre infrastructure into non-metropolitan areas, Truespeed announced plans to extend its fibre network into the city centre and surrounding areas of Wells, Somerset.

Read more about UK gigabit broadband

Marksbury School, Abbot’s Way School and Churchill Academy are already connected to Truespeed’s gigabit-capable broadband service, and all 31 schools that make up the Bath & Wells Multi Academy Trust will come on-stream soon, ensuring 7,800 pupils and over 1,400 staff benefit from this award-winning service. 

The fast connectivity has already transformed school life for pupils and staff, said Marksbury C of E Primary School head teacher Julie Player.

“Before we went live with this service, our broadband connectivity was so unreliable that we couldn’t really rely on online learning resources,” she noted.

“Now teachers can now make the most of cloud-based storage for lesson planning, as well as a whole host of valuable cloud-based teaching aids accessible via interactive smart boards during lessons. Pupils also get to do more real-world learning in class – an important part of the curriculum – by using school iPads to access the internet and connect with local businesses. We have also been able to resurrect our dedicated ICT lessons.” 

Gareth Wright and Hellen Lush, joint heads at Abbot’s Way School, added: “Abbot’s Way is a new forward-thinking specialist school near Glastonbury.

“The introduction of our Truespeed connection is a vast improvement, with speeds reaching 200Mbps,” they said. “For our students, assistive technology is an essential resource, enabling them to explore, discover and thrive within the world of technology and support their general learning.

“The installation of a fast, reliable broadband service is crucial to any educational environment, and we are very happy with the Truespeed service,” they concluded.

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