Orcon has announced ultra-fast broadband (UFB) plans designed to put fibre within reach of the learning sector.
The ISP says large numbers of schools in the UFB-enabled centres of Auckland, Wellington, Palmerston North, Napier, Invercargill, Dunedin, Rotorua and Whangarei have already registered their interest with the company.
Orcon CEO Scott Bartlett says schools are contacting the company because it is leading the fibre for schools initiative. Orcon has already connected five Whangarei schools: Manaia View Primary School, Whangarei Intermediate, Blomfield Special School, Whangarei Primary and Morningside School.
“Manaia View Primary School was the first to receive fibre optic cabling under the government’s UFB plan and the first go live, through Orcon. As a result, the ICT-led school now has an ultra-fast broadband service that matches the way modern pupils learn.
“Staff and students are uploading and downloading video incredibly quickly and the technology is making a significant contribution to the education of the students.”
Schools are a high priority for the Government’s $1.5bn roll out of fibre to three-quarters of New Zealand households and businesses over the next eight years. With the Manaia View Primary School trial already complete, Orcon is now taking orders from schools further afield.
“By providing affordable UFB to schools it demonstrates that Orcon is serious about our mission to make sure that nobody gets left behind when it comes to reaping the benefits of fibre,” says Mr Bartlett.
Orcon has launched a 1,000GB plan at NZ$379 to cater for the demand of larger schools or heavy users. Also it is providing two base plans for smaller schools, 100GB at NZ$159, and 30GB at NZ$129. All base plans have up to 30Mbps download and upload and a guaranteed minimum download and upload speed of 10Mbps. Faster plans are also available.
Orcon is partnering with education service provider Watchdog. Watchdog provides firewalls and filtering under a contract with the Ministry of Education as well as hosted applications required to enable schools to use the internet safely and productively to enhance student learning.
UFB coverage areas are expanding daily with Wanganui, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Tauranga and Mount Maunganui, Hawera, Tokoroa, Christchurch, Blenheim, Nelson, Timaru, Masterton, Oamaru, Queenstown, Taupo and Ashburton set to go live from July this year.