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Department of Education & Skills

Customers_Department of Education-1200

Through the Department of Education & Skills and HEAnet, Ripplecom connects almost 600 primary schools nationwide.

Broadband for Schools

Funded by the Department of Education & Skills, HEAnet manages the centralised network that connects all Irish primary and post-primary schools. The network is facilitated by private suppliers like Ripplecom. We are one of the largest providers of connectivity to the Irish education system, participating in the ‘Broadband for Schools’ programme since 2011.

Key highlights

Custom engineered solution

Many of our schools are in outlying areas, where connectivity was a huge challenge. Ripplecom engineers designed a relay-style solution that could extend coverage far beyond ordinary network reach.

Community involvement

Once the technology was devised, we sought suitable locations for the new equipment. We engaged with local communities to identify hosts, negotiating agreements that would allow us to use family homes, agricultural buildings and even the local church or parish hall as custom hops. Once installed, these intermediary sites relay signals from our transmitters to the classroom. The complexity of the solution means that only a company of Ripplecom’s practical, proactive nature could successfully supply these sites.

Core network commitment

To recognise and enhance our levels of cooperation, we have implemented a direct interconnect with HEAnet at core network level. Our interconnect with the HEAnet backbone network allows data to be privately exchanged. Direct interconnection at the core level guarantees minimum latency and maximum security for our school traffic. It also gives HEAnet full visibility of our core network availability in line with our Service Level Agreements.

Positive impacts:

Next generation learning

Our determination to deliver democratises access to ICT (Information and Communications Technology) powered learning. ICT is transforming learning, giving teachers and pupils resources that reach far beyond classroom walls. As well as learning through ICT, the primary school curriculum now focuses on learning about ICT to allow children to develop skills in the confident use of technology.

Building the future

Connectivity is vital to the Government’s ‘Digital Strategy for Schools, 2015-2020’. The strategy seeks to realise the potential of digital technologies to help Ireland’s young people become global citizens.

Safe, protected connectivity

Working with HEAnet means our connections are proactively managed to protect schools from a full range of online threats. This includes the provision of content filtering, as prescribed by the Department of Education.