Commsworld delivers ultrafast internet connectivity to North Lanarkshire schools

Schools across North Lanarkshire are now benefitting from some of the fastest internet access in Scotland thanks to Commsworld successfully delivering the council’s connectivity programme.

Commsworld and NLC at Gartosh Primary SchoolAll 181 primary, nursery and Additional Support Needs schools now have connections more than 20 times the previous capacity, and secondary school connections are five times faster than before.

This means teachers have significantly improved capacity to deliver digital education content during the school day. It also provides better reliability, enhanced security, and safeguarding support with fully filtered connectivity to ensure all pupils are kept safe online. 

Commsworld, one of the UK’s leading telecoms network providers, replaced the infrastructure previously in place in all North Lanarkshire primary, secondary, nursery and additional support schools with new full-fibre internet connections.

Ultrafast internet connectivity for schools is a key milestone in North Lanarkshire Council’s ambitious 15-year programme with Commsworld and its partners to transform and improve connectivity across the region, delivering a GVA of around £1.3billion.

Sam Reymbaut, Commsworld Account Director, said: “We are delighted to have completed the significantly enhanced internet connectivity to North Lanarkshire’s primary, secondary, nursery and ASN schools.

“This service is set to provide a significant enhancement of capacity, resilience and security in schools so that they can gain access to the best digital resources currently available. It also represents another key milestone in our digital journey with North Lanarkshire Council.”

Councillor Michael McBride, Convener of Children, Families and Education said: “This represents a new beginning for digital education in North Lanarkshire. All our primary and secondary schools now have access to the best connectivity in the country. This huge improvement in capacity and resilience in our schools will allow educators to deliver a wider, far ranging digital curriculum that brings pupils up to date with the latest technologies.

“I look forward to our pupils and school staff enjoying secure and protected access to the best digital learning experience in the months and years ahead.”

Alison McFarlane, Head Teacher of Gartcosh Primary School, said: “The whole school community has benefitted from the uninterrupted connection that has allowed us to open up the school curriculum.

“Our newly created team of digital leaders are helping to ensure that everyone is up to speed in using a range of apps and keeping their skills sharp.

“The children are enthusiastic and more engaged in learning as a result or the improvements. For example, we are now able to access online lunch programmes and we now have a reliable phone network.

“It’s been wonderful seeing children’s creativity and innovation thrive; the change has been transformational. 

“We cannot wait to fully embrace everything that digital technology can offer staff, children and indeed our whole school community.”

The benefits of the new digital network programme across North Lanarkshire include:

  • A 340km network of gigabit-capable ultra-fast full fibre to transform residential, business and public sector connectivity.
  • New web filtering provisions and a boost to school internet bandwidth via upgrades for primary school bandwidth to 1Gb and secondary schools to 5Gb with a second resilient 5Gb connection for secondary schools. 
  • The design and implementation of a free public Wi-Fi network across town centres, schools, community and council facilities, and all business parks.
  • Connecting all 29 parks in North Lanarkshire, including Strathclyde, Palacerigg and Drumpellier country parks.

The fundamental associated benefit is accelerating the availability of gigabit-capable fibre broadband (providing download speeds up to one gigabit-per-second) for communities and businesses to access.

Councillor McBride continued: “The programme is already seeing the complete transformation of the area’s digital infrastructure and that will help to ensure that 85% of homes across the region have access to gigabit-capable broadband far earlier than planned. “To date, thanks to the work undertaken by Commsworld and its partners, fibre has been laid to support the delivery of an ultrafast digital network across North Lanarkshire.”