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School internet scheme set to cross finish line

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By Newsdesk
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School internet scheme set to cross finish line

EVERY school in Dumfries and Galloway will finally have fast internet connections by next week to allow for effective digital learning in the classroom.

A virtual desktop programme being rolled out by the council dragged on last year, however, a positive update was delivered at the council’s education committee on Tuesday, writes local democracy reporter Marc Mclean.

Graeme McIllorum, the council’s senior manager for business and technology solutions, confirmed that the internet works were completed at two more primaries this week, with another two schools set for full connection at the beginning of next week.

Mid and Upper Nithsdale Councillor Jim Dempster, who had repeatedly been calling for the installation work to be progressed, said: “Are we comfortable now that every school in the region will be up to standard in terms of connectivity and broadband speed?”

Mr McIllorum replied: “Yes, each school will have a minimum of 100MB (broadband speed) – as far as primary schools go.

“It should be 500 or 1,000 as far as secondary schools go. That, if we look at Education Scotland’s recommendations, is probably slightly more than those recommendations.

“So, yes I’m quite confident that the bandwidth should be appropriate.”

The council is also looking at introducing a mobile learning network to resolve internet speed issues, particularly at peak usage times.

This will enable all ipads to directly access the internet without the use of a Mifi box, which currently incur monthly data charges for the school.

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