CommScope scores NZ$28m Wi-Fi 6 contract with New Zealand Ministry of Education

The internet connectivity for 2,500 schools will be upgraded under the contract.

The New Zealand Ministry of Education (MoE) has signed on CommScope to deliver Wi-Fi 6 connectivity to 2,500 schools across the country under a NZ$28 million contract. 

As part of the deal, CommScope will deploy up to 38,000 Wi-Fi 6 access points and 12,000 multi-gig switches to enable faster and reliable connection across multiple connected devices, as well as provide schools access to technologies such as virtual reality in classrooms.

"We want to equip our students with the right skills through digital technologies," said New Zealand MoE head of education infrastructure service Kim Shannon said.

"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."

See also: You can deploy Wi-Fi 6 now, but benefits of 5G could be years away for your organization (TechRepublic)

The upgrade will also enable schools to manage and access the reporting and network analytics of their entire network through a single platform, CommScope said.

The New Zealand government recently invested an additional NZ$15 million into upgrading rural network capacity to help the economy of remote communities recover from the effects of COVID-19.

The additional funding will be allocated towards upgrading some existing rural mobile towers, upgrading wireless backhaul that connects remote sites to central networks, and installing external antennae on households to improved coverage. 

The investment was in addition to the New Zealand government's NZ$150 million rural broadband initiative phase two (RBI2), which aims to provide rural households and businesses with broadband speeds of at least 20 Mbps download.

The RBI2 is expected to be complete by the end of 2021 and provide broadband for New Zealand's rural population. The remaining population -- around 87% -- are covered by the UFB project, which provides speeds of up to 1Gbps using fibre to the premises.

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