A national education network

Presentation here from Douglas Harre from the NZ Ministry of Education, explaining what is being considered as a National Education Network for New Zealand, and the benefits it could consider. taken from his presentation at the recent “Learning Without Limits” series of seminars around the country.

3 thoughts on “A national education network

  1. One thing that I found difficult from that presentation and found out later on was that there is a second education network currently being developed by Vector Fibre (www.vectorfibre.co.nz), there was no mention of this network in there presentation.

    For more details see http://watchdog.net.nz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=89&Itemid=222

    If we are Learning without Limits, it seems that we could be being pushed a product that is Learning with Limits.

  2. Gerard,

    There is no first, second or third network being offered. The NEN section of our LWL presentation (10 minutes out of 3 hours) was merely to suggest the idea of how a National Education network could be delivered to schools around NZ.

    EduNet is a Vector product being sold (right now) by a range of resellers (including Watchdog). As it says on the Watchdog website “EduNet utilises their fibre network around Auckland” so I would suggest it would not be seen by most schools as a “National Education Network”. Telecom has marketed their Schoolzone product for a number of years – you will be aware that this is a copper-based service, and they have been trialling a fibre-based version. End result is two large companies selling a service to drive people to their respective networks.

    The government wish is to end up with an open access fibre service to schools (and the wider population). Service providers would then be able to deliver their offerings to schools across a range of network providers.

    I am not sure why you say you could (be) “being pushed a product”. There is no product or (even) agreement yet for a NEN. If that agreement comes the Ministry would then be required to go through a standard govt tender process to procure such a network on behalf of all schools (just like we do with the other centrally procured products we provide to schools) .

    Vector, Gen-i, Telstra, SNAP, IBM are all examples of companies that would be keen (I imagine) to offer to supply such a network (and associated services) to NZ schools. My suggestion on the day was they would be a LOT more keen to provide that service if the MoE was paying on behalf of schools as our collective funding is bigger than schools’ individual funding.

    Among our questions on the day you attended the South Auckland session were “are you interested in the idea of a NEN?” and “if you are – are you interested in us procuring it on your behalf?”. Given the pricing being offered on the Watchdog website the question I would ask is “would you get a better deal signing up for that yourself or would the schools of NZ get a better deal collectively procuring that range of services across 95% of schools”……

    There’s still a lot of water to go under the NEN bridge – the seminar series was to get a feel from around the country (22 locations and 2000 attendees) across a range of issues. Schools will continue to sign up for services in the interim – hence our advice not to sign up for contracts in excess of 24 months if possible. I also noted that school’s connecting to a (potential) NEN would not be mandatory but we would hope that the services and pricing would be attractive to schools, just like our Microsoft deal is – and I don’t see too many Wordperfect users out there..:-)).



  3. Thank you for your comments, I understand from your comments that you are giving teachers/schools the opportunity of the development of a ultra fast broadband network and are after suggestions of what it could entail. We are not being pushed a product, but being consulted upon, and also finding out what prices would be best for the majority of schools. I suppose that the vector deal is just a start and that the ministry will be pushing for better deals to come out in the future. Thank you for the clarification.

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