BT to Provide Ultrafast Broadband to UK Primary Schools as Part of Project Gigabit

Credits: ZDNET

The UK government has awarded BT a multimillion-pound contract to provide ultrafast connectivity to over 650 primary schools in hard-to-reach areas across England.

This initiative, part of the Project Gigabit programme, aims to enhance the learning experience for students by delivering lightning-fast broadband to schools in rural and urban locations that are challenging to reach through commercial broadband schemes.

BT, in collaboration with its broadband provision division and infrastructure supplier Openreach, will deliver full-fibre broadband capable of speeds exceeding 1Gbps.

This initiative is expected to provide a significant digital boost to schools, enabling them to access online resources, high-quality video streaming, and modern ways of working.

Project Gigabit (Credits: Computer Weekly)

The government-funded project will cover the costs of connecting rural schools that would otherwise be left behind in commercial roll-out plans.

Project Gigabit, launched in 2021, aims to accelerate the UK’s recovery from Covid-19, drive growth in sectors such as technology and the creative industries, and promote economic equality by creating jobs and spreading wealth across the country.

The initiative has already signed contracts worth over £1.1bn and aims to prioritize areas with slow connections to ensure they are not left behind.

The schools selected for this deployment are located across south-west, north, south-east, and east England, as well as London.

The connectivity upgrade will enable schools in isolated areas to access broadband speeds up to 500 times faster, facilitating interactive lessons, collaborative projects, and access to an expanding online library of educational content.

BT and Openreach will work together to connect these schools in phases over the next two years, with a target completion date of December 2025. This investment is expected to transform the learning experience for thousands of pupils, opening up new opportunities for digital learning and collaboration.

Commenting on the contract, Ashish Gupta, director of corporate and public sector at BT, emphasized the importance of high-speed, reliable broadband in education, stating that it underpins many aspects of daily life.

Schools minister Diana Barran welcomed the investment, noting that high-speed internet is crucial for providing the best possible education for pupils.