A nationwide upgrade of school network equipment to the latest generation of Wi-Fi is underway, led by Network for Learning (N4L).
Today N4L is announcing the panel of 19 partners who will install the CommScope Ruckus network equipment for the upgrade to Wi-Fi 6.
N4L said the the two new technology panels were appointed following a competitive tender.
The installer panel includes: ACL Communications, Aotea Group Holdings, Chris Dunn Technologies, Commtech Communications, Datacomms Plus, Data Concepts, ENZEC, Exell Group Services, Foveaux Communications, Garden City Communications, Gilcom Communications (2012), Glenn Cook Technologies, Neltech Communications, Online Communications, PBS Data IT, Saco Cabling, Teltrac Communications, Vitel Cabling and Waikato Cabling and Communications.
A further ten technology companies, the IT panel, have been appointed to a second panel that will provide schools tech support for connecting devices to their upgraded network if needed.
They are Aiscorp, Cyclone Computer Company, Fusion Networks, Glenn Cook Technologies, New Era IT, Norrcom, Our School, pcMedia Technologies, RepairIT and Smart Computer Systems.
The new Wi-Fi 6 network equipment will allow more student devices to connect to the school’s internet and stream simultaneously, without impacting speed or reliability.
However, Spectrum is yet to be allocated to support Wi-Fi 6 in New Zealand. N4L said the new hardware would continue to use the existing frequency ranges, 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
N4L CEO Larrie Moore welcomed the new partners and said a new timetable was being drafted given no upgrades took place during to Covid-19 Alert Levels 4.
He said the safety of schools and technicians is a top priority and everyone going into schools for the upgrade will strictly adhere to health and safety requirements while installing the new equipment.
“We’re delighted to have appointed two panels of highly-skilled technology providers who have proven track-records of achieving results and working successfully with schools,” said Moore.
“Their knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the success of the upgrade and we look forward to working with them in the years ahead.
“Due to Covid-19, we’ll be doing things slightly different than we had originally planned and we’re working closely with the Ministry of Education and our technology partners to work out the revised schedule and rollout process to keep everyone safe.”
N4L will be alerted of network performance issues remotely, so they can troubleshoot them for schools, freeing up time and resources for busy teaching staff to focus on student learning.
Dawn Fenn, a teaching principal at Woodhill School, a fast-growing rural school in Helensville says she is looking forward to the upgrade.
“Technology plays a growing role in our school - we are bringing in more devices to support the kids’ learning so the upgrade will be a big help for us," she said.
The upgrade is part of a wider programme, Te Mana Tūhono (the power of connectivity) launched by the Ministry of Education to remove the burden on schools to monitor, maintain and manage their school networks.