High-speed broadband transforms Cavan National School

Over 600 schools are included in NBI nationwide project

A County Cavan primary school has been transformed with “hope and opportunity” according to its principal, after receiving a new high-speed fibre broadband connection.

Kilmore Central National School is achieving minimum speeds of 500Mb/s following its connection to the new high-speed fibre network built by National Broadband Ireland (NBI).

It is the first school connected to the NBI network under the National Broadband Plan.

Over 600 schools are included in NBI nationwide project.

Ms. Lorna Moffatt, acting principal of the 49-pupil school, said: “Before we were connected to high-speed fibre broadband we would always have had to have a back-up plan when planning lessons using ICT due to a lack of reliability on the internet so we would have had to rely heavily on text books and old-style teaching. Now, there is more hope having fibre broadband in our school due to all the opportunities that we have been given.  We are a STEM school; we have a STEM award – all our lessons are enhanced.’

“Being connected to high-speed fibre broadband has meant the children can use iPads more freely in the classroom.  They have the opportunity to use the iPads in every subject, literacy, numeracy, STEM, coding. We now have a school website that is up and running and we can connect with the wider community, potential parents and parents of existing pupils.  Children can share their work on the website.  In terms of assessment the children can submit their work through the iPads, they can email it to the teacher – they’re developing life skills. It's brought everyone a little bit closer together,” she said.

David McCourt, Chairman of National Broadband Ireland, said that seeing the “transformative nature” of this project on a small, rural school, our first school connection, is an “extremely proud” moment for NBI.

“We are delighted that Kilmore Central National School, its teachers and pupils, can now experience the full range of educational benefits that high-speed broadband provides.  As we work to overcome the delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important that we strive to reach these important milestones so as to ensure we can connect more schools and other premises across the county and nationwide as quickly as possible.”

Under the National Broadband Plan, over 554,000 premises nationwide are included in the Intervention Area, which was established by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications to identify areas where commercial operators are not currently providing access to high-speed broadband or do not intend to.

The project sees NBI delivering minimum speeds of 500 megabits per second to farms, homes, businesses and schools.

As the biggest investment in rural Ireland since rural electrification, County Cavan itself will receive €65m of Government investment under the NBP to address over 16,000 premises.