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Topic # 224275 10-Nov-2017 10:29
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Chorus reveals technology upgrade for schools, students

 

Chorus and Network for Learning (N4L) have today unveiled their school technology upgrade programme, a digital transformation that aims to make New Zealand’s schools among the most technologically-advanced in the world.

 

The first phase of the ground-breaking initiative with Crown company, N4L, sees Chorus piloting a proof of concept trial with Haeata Community Campus in Christchurch to extend the school’s internet service out into the homes of students.

 

Secondly, Chorus will partner with N4L to bring Gigabit broadband direct to the classroom. Currently most schools use one broadband connection and share this using Wi-Fi access points in the classroom.

 

In the meantime, Chorus is providing an upgrade that ensures every school on its part of the N4L network has enough bandwidth to operate without any constraint, with a new fibre service specifically designed for schools.

 

“Our children are at the heart of a massive technological change and New Zealand’s world-class fibre network is at the centre of this,” said Chorus CEO Kate McKenzie.

 

“The way schools use the internet is constantly evolving and the demand is skyrocketing, with an increasing focus on online learning programs and video.

 

“As a country, it is important that we not only keep up with this demand but also look at innovative ways that future-proof New Zealand to be a world-leader in this space.

 

“The great thing about fibre is it allows children anywhere in New Zealand to benefit from world-class technology, whether they’re in Kaitaia or Bluff. Fibre gives schools near-instant access to information, resources and online tools that allow them to do more, no matter their location.”

Extending school’s broadband service out into the homes of students
As part of a proof of concept trial, Chorus is undertaking a programme of work to look at options to potentially solve the issue of students who are unable to access high-quality broadband in the home.

 

The proposed solution uses Chorus’ existing street and network infrastructure.

 

Chorus will start an initial trial with Haeata Community Campus before Christmas to provide Wi-Fi access into the homes of the school community, free of charge.

 

If successful, Chorus will look to expand the trial to other streets in the area, working with N4L to cover as much of the school’s catchment area as possible.

 

Once the Wi-Fi network is up and running, students will be able to log-in from home using a school-provided device. Students will have unlimited internet access without having to worry about data caps and can stay safe in an online environment provided by the school and N4L.
“We need to bridge the digital divide that sees some students unable to access the internet from their home,” said Ms McKenzie.

 

“This partnership between Chorus and N4L is not a silver bullet but it innovates to show what could be possible in a realistic and timely way using existing infrastructure that is available right now, to find solutions to social challenges.”

Gigabit broadband taken into the classroom
Chorus has played a key part in enabling the digital transformation of New Zealand’s schools, rolling out fibre to about 1900 schools over the last five years.

 

The Ultra-Fast Broadband initiative has been a very successful programme, providing New Zealand with some of the best infrastructure in the world for the sort of transformational education New Zealand’s students are going to require in the coming decades.
Chorus believes that a single fibre connection per school shared among classrooms is not enough capacity to allow for future consumption, such as cloud-based applications and virtual reality.

 

A proof of concept trial is underway with N4L to get a 1Gbps fibre connection direct to each individual classroom on Chorus’ network. This will give far greater internet data capacity and speed per student.

 

The trial will take place in ten schools in the Far North and in parts of rural Gisborne.

School bandwidth upgrade
In the meantime, Chorus is providing an upgrade that ensures every school on the N4L network has enough bandwidth to operate without any constraint, for the same price that N4L pays today.

 

“When we started the UFB programme in 2011, 50Mbps and 100Mbps fibre plans seemed like they would provide enough speed to cater for schools’ requirements. But clearly with the explosion of high data-usage applications, sharing 100Mbps across a school will not meet long-term demand.

 

“We want to remove any concept of bandwidth being a bottleneck for our country’s schools, and do what we can to foster learning and innovation.”

 

N4L chief executive Greg Woolley said N4L’s goal is for equitable access to digital technology for every student in New Zealand regardless of their location or socio-economic status.

 

“The initiatives announced today support N4L’s aspiration to achieve digital equity for Kiwi kids.

 

“Removing speed constraints and simplifying technology in schools, especially for those in rural and isolated areas with little or no ready access to technical support, is an important step along the journey to barrier-free access.

 

“Further, learning is not confined to school hours, and the proliferation of devices and home internet access is widening the digital inequity divide, where some students have access to the tools and connectivity for learning out of hours, and others do not.

 

“Delivering wireless access at home for students at Haeata Community Campus will considerably help reduce this inequity for those kids within the trial area.

 

“It’s critical we continue to work together with our partners like Chorus, planning and trialling new innovative programmes so we can ensure the 810,000 students and teachers using the Managed Network can learn and teach in a way that meets their needs now and in the future.”

 





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  Reply # 1898755 10-Nov-2017 11:06
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Hmm Gigabit to each classroom on a dedicated fibre. That'll be fun to manage!!

 

I really struggle to see the benefit of doing that, the management overheads in terms of firewalls/routers etc, plus the fact that hardly anyone uses a wired connection and everything is on wifi, seems to out weight any benefits.

 

Don't know of any enterprises that have a dedicated 1Gbps circuit for each of their floors for instance.

 

 





 

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  Reply # 1898802 10-Nov-2017 11:15
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Tockly:

 

Hmm Gigabit to each classroom on a dedicated fibre. That'll be fun to manage!!

 

I really struggle to see the benefit of doing that, the management overheads in terms of firewalls/routers etc, plus the fact that hardly anyone uses a wired connection and everything is on wifi, seems to out weight any benefits.

 

Don't know of any enterprises that have a dedicated 1Gbps circuit for each of their floors for instance.

 

 

 

 

I too am a little puzzled by it - and while I was at a Chorus event last night where this was announced didn't actually get a chance to speak to anybody who could explain the benefits to me.

 

Many large school networks already have a 10Gbps fibre core and most smaller will have a 1Gbps copper core network. You've then got WiFi AP's in rooms already at 1Gbps to the network and no way to ever exceed that right now due to the limits of current WiFi standards.

 

I'm just not sure how the school architecture will work having an ONT in every classroom. It seems a rather strange thing to be doing.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1898803 10-Nov-2017 11:20
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Gigabit to each classroom seems like overkill Imo


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  Reply # 1898815 10-Nov-2017 11:32
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Gigabit to each classroom makes no sense at all. Most classrooms we see struggle to push 10mbit at any one time, and rarely we'll see 30+ mbit if you've got a whole class watching YouTube videos on Chromebooks.

 

 

 

If they're putting ONTs into each classroom and connecting PCs, what about local resources? Active directory? How will we run our VoIP? This whole thing seems super strange.






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  Reply # 1898819 10-Nov-2017 11:36
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CamH:

 

If they're putting ONTs into each classroom and connecting PCs, what about local resources? Active directory? How will we run our VoIP? This whole thing seems super strange.

 

 

This is what I don't understand.

 

Unfortunately I was a little too busy chatting to other people at the Chorus event last night and the person who could have answered by questions had gone by the time I went to track him down.

 

 


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  Reply # 1898821 10-Nov-2017 11:37
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I think they must be doing this so students can sit on their devices watching you tube instead of leaning.


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  Reply # 1898837 10-Nov-2017 11:57
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What a serious waste of fibre and resources.

 

 

 

Surely classrooms struggle to push more than 100mbit!

 

what are they expecting? 8K learning content? good luck providing that via wifi... break the bank with a network capable of it and require devices to handle the newer standards...





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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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  Reply # 1898846 10-Nov-2017 12:12
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Could this just be a cash grab they've managed to sell as a good idea to the ministry? they'll be making money on everyone of those line rentals right? 


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  Reply # 1898874 10-Nov-2017 12:20
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Probably find its like I've seen at some recent multi dwelling installs for. There was a rack with a 10G link and local linecards in a 3U management device with a cable run from there. So not a big fat multicore from the road.

 

http://www.alliedtelesis.com/products/multiservice-access/imap-9700-0 


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  Reply # 1898889 10-Nov-2017 12:42
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Surely this is all it is, one fibre install to the admin block (or whatever) and some private fibre between the buildings. 

 

Would be cheapest and easiest way offering excellent performance.


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  Reply # 1898894 10-Nov-2017 12:55
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Needed for the students? Nope
Needed so our students can show Australian students how fast our classroom internet is? Absolutely!




Chorus has spent $1.4 billion on making their xDSL broadband network faster. If your still stuck on ADSL or VDSL, why not spend from $150 on a master filter install to make sure you are getting the most out of your connection?
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  Reply # 1898908 10-Nov-2017 13:36
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I think the whole idea is nuts. I would struggle to see any schools that could saturate more than 200Mbit consistently. Even if they had 2000+ students there. I can see moving to a 1GB symmetrical connection, or standard gigatown 950/500 for the whole school. But please show me any graphs where it goes over that for any sustained time.

 

Shared local infrastructure won't play nicely if each room has their own unique internet connection unless N4L is going to be providing "LAN" routing for each classroom and effectively they will provide a private network that goes back to the BNGs. Which is a mad idea.

 

Then printing, AD, managing edge devices like wifi unless it's all moved to cloud based services and there are no on-site services that need to communicate with.

 

Doesn't pass the sniff test to me.






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  Reply # 1898918 10-Nov-2017 14:08
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This might not be needed today, but will surely be needed in years to come. Getting this done now at no additional cost to the school is fantastic. I'm on the Board of Trustees for our local school and there is no money to allow for this kind of expense when it is necessary. There are more and more devices in the classroom and this is only going to increase in months and years to come with bring your own device. 

 

Kids are making video presentations, streaming content and doing most things online nowadays. 

 

Doing nothing would be a mistake (in my opinion).


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  Reply # 1898919 10-Nov-2017 14:12
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Theclaytons:

 

This might not be needed today, but will surely be needed in years to come. Getting this done now at no additional cost to the school is fantastic. I'm on the Board of Trustees for our local school and there is no money to allow for this kind of expense when it is necessary. There are more and more devices in the classroom and this is only going to increase in months and years to come with bring your own device. 

 

Kids are making video presentations, streaming content and doing most things online nowadays. 

 

Doing nothing would be a mistake (in my opinion).

 

 

Purely looking at it from a future proofing funding situation sure.

 

 

 

As @bartender pointed out, this would make routing LAN content difficult, you would need to be routing on each classroom, aggregating at BNG or such.

 

also need to remember the fibre is the cheap part.

 

 

 

the hardware to realistically make use of 1gbit within a classroom will easily set you back far more.





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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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  Reply # 1898924 10-Nov-2017 14:22
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Theclaytons:

 

Surely this is all it is, one fibre install to the admin block (or whatever) and some private fibre between the buildings. 

 

Would be cheapest and easiest way offering excellent performance.

 

 

Your're just describing a typical school as it stands now.

 

Each classroom already has Gigabit to it also - albeit either to Ethernet or WiFi.

 

 

 

 


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