The technology initiative will enable faster and more reliable performance across multiple connected devices in highly dense campus environments.

To help 2,500 schools meet the connectivity demands of an ever-changing student population, the New Zealand Ministry of Education (MoE) has deployed up to 38,000 Wi-Fi 6 access points and 12,000 multi-gig switches.

This initiative, commissioned to network connectivity firm Commscope, will enable faster and more reliable performance across multiple connected devices in a highly dense campus environment.

The technology upgrade includes the Wi-Fi 6 access points optimized for video-centric learning and the use of virtual reality in classrooms. The technology has the potential to improve educational outcomes for students across New Zealand by supporting higher data rates, increased capacity and improved power efficiency. It is also the first time that schools have been able to bring the management of their entire network onto a single platform making troubleshooting of connectivity issues much easier.

Said Kim Shannon, Head of Education Infrastructure Service, New Zealand Ministry of Education: “We want to equip our students with the right skills through digital technologies. Looking to the future, educators have the opportunity to redefine how we communicate and collaborate. Reliable and superfast connectivity is giving students the possibility to do things differently and prepare for new skills that don’t yet exist, giving every student the best chance to thrive.”

With increased streaming and cloud-based educational services, the New Zealand MoE opted for an Wi-Fi 6 high performance access points coupled with 10GbE switches. Commscope’s equipment will manage both the switching and Wi-Fi networks with extended reporting and network analytics.

Said Murray Dickson, director of Enterprise for South Pacific, CommScope: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution has made it imperative for education systems to adapt. The New Zealand Ministry of Education is unlocking the potential of Wi-Fi 6 which will ultimately enhance state-of-the-art learning.”

The project was facilitated by Network for Learning (N4L), a government-owned company providing safe and secure internet for schools, chosen by the MoE to support school networks with the new technology.

According to N4L’s Chief Executive Officer, Larrie Moore: “Teachers and students need their internet to perform seamlessly throughout the school without having to worry about how many devices are being used at any one time or the type of online learning programs they want to use. The technology needs to support the way students want to learn, and we are delighted to be working with CommScope to upgrade the schools’ wireless networks with the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology to provide ongoing support for schools.”