Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (159)

Thomas Byrne


159. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the total spent by schools on the provision of broadband to the end of quarter 3 in 2019. [47222/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Through the Schools Broadband Access Programme the Department of Education and Skills provides for the supply of internet connectivity for all recognised primary and post primary schools, and some 98% of schools are included in this scheme. In some cases schools may choose to engage broadband providers outside of the DES programme where they may have a relationship with a local provider not included in the DES Framework of Providers. A very small number of schools cannot be connected where local infrastructure does not allow, however my Department keeps those schools under review to provide connectivity as and when infrastructure becomes available. The total spent by any schools operating outside of the DES provided and funded programme is not gathered by the Department.

All post-primary schools (715 in the 2017-2018 school year) and some 58 special schools are included in the High Speed Broadband programme with un-contended symmetrical connectivity of 100 Mbp/s plus.

The policy of the Department through the Schools Broadband Access Programme is to offer the best quality connectivity to all schools in line with the technical solutions available in the market and within financial constraints. Up to and including September 2019 my Department has provided some €6.1m for the provision of broadband under the Schools Broadband Programme. Currently investment of some €12m is allocated annually for the provision of internet connectivity to schools. Over the past three years my Department has invested some €40 million in the Schools Broadband Access programme.