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Rural schools in broadband boost

Faster gigabit speed broadband is on the way to three rural schools in the area thanks to a new government initiative.

The schools are Wittering Primary School, Browns Primary School in Horbling and Langtoft Primary School.

A BT Openreach engineer working on broadband connection (7510472)
A BT Openreach engineer working on broadband connection (7510472)

The gigabit broadband is being installed at 100 rural schools as part of a £3 million pilot programme from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Average broadband speeds in South Kesteven in 2017 were 18.8 megabytes per second but the fibre broadband due to be installed will allow speeds more than 50-times that.

Rhys Thrower, headteacher of Wittering Primary School, welcomed the planned roll-out of fibre as “great news” saying many rural schools struggle to receive decent internet speeds

He had yet to receive details about when the broadband would be installed but was excited about its possibilities.

“With us living in the technological age, any advance is to be welcomed. The system will enable our learners to make great progress.

“Whole classes will be able to use the internet for research.”

Sally Howley, headteacher of Brown’s Primary in Horbling expected the fibre to be installed this month.

“It’s going to enable our children to have the opportunity to access a brilliant curriculum. Even in our tiny village we will have the same speeds as the city.”

Mrs Howley said the scheme means the school can also help the community by becoming a ‘hub’ where local homes and businesses will be able to ‘hook on’ to its faster internet.

“It’s exciting we are able to make a positive contribution to the community.”

She added: “The fibre speed broadband will make us closer to the world. We will be competitive. Our children will be as competitive as any other place.”

Langtoft Primary School is also listed as to receive the gigabit broadband, but the school says it still needs someone to assess what work needs doing before any installation.

The £3 million trial is part of the Government’s £190 million Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) programme.

In addition to the new connection being provided to schools, there is also the added benefit of increasing connectivity to surrounding homes and businesses.

Once the fibre is laid, with the school acting as a ‘hub’, connecting other premises in the area becomes much more commercially viable to broadband providers.

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