Port Sunlight pupils first to benefit from top-of-the-class full-fibre broadband

Port Sunlight’s Church Drive School has become the first school in the Liverpool City Region to receive a full-fibre connection from LCR Connect, a new 212 km digital network that offers the highest internet speeds in the nation.

According to Joanna Jones, headteacher at the school, the pupils have had their ‘learning experience enriched, creating a myriad of opportunities.’

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region said, “The world around us is changing faster than ever and I want to ensure that we keep up – LCR Connect is helping us to do that.

“We’re putting our communities at the cutting edge of digital connectivity with state-of-the-art infrastructure that will give them access to the fastest internet speeds in the entire country. It’s helping to attract new jobs, businesses and investment into the region and, best of all, LCR Connect is half-owned by the us, which means that we can continue to pump the returns back into the local economy and reap the benefits for years to come.

“We’re already seeing the massive difference it’s making to local schools – but this is just the tip of the iceberg – our infrastructure will eventually link to our universities, to our hospitals, to our public spaces, and to residential homes across the city region helping to deliver better public services too. It’s a big step towards my ambition of making our region the most digitally connected place in the country – where no one is left behind.”

LCR Connect is a joint venture headed by Mayor Steve Rotheram and comprises the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (which owns 50% of the venture), ITS Technology Group, and NGE. This venture is delivering the full fibre network that is being constructed across the six local government areas of the Liverpool City Region.

The network, which is on track to be completed by the middle of this year, is designed to significantly improve connectivity for businesses and will support internet access for schools, and other organisations, making the city region among the best-connected areas of the UK.

One of seven schools in the Oak Trees Multi-Academy Trust, Church Drive Primary has achieved 100 Mbps speeds through its broadband connection, which is almost three times faster than its previous download speed and over ten times faster for uploads. This extremely fast service is being provided and managed by local IT service providers Hi-Impact and Exa Networks.

Joanna Jones, headteacher at Church Drive Primary School said, “As a school, we are very keen to make the best use of technology to enhance and improve the learning opportunities for our children. Access to a fast, reliable internet connection has now become a vital part of the curriculum.

“This new broadband service has transformed the enjoyment and ease of access to the many online resources and opportunities that enrich the day-to-day learning of our children. It also means that our teaching staff no longer have to implement ‘plan B’ which was a regular occurrence when our old broadband service couldn’t keep up with demand.

“Added to this, the children can now make effective use of the laptops and tablets that were generously donated to the school during the COVID-19 lockdowns.”

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