NEWS RELEASE

Announcement Responds to OCSTA Concerns about Equitable Access to Broadband Connectivity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO—May 15, 2017—OCSTA is encouraged by the Ministry of Education’s announcement today of an initiative to improve access to high-speed connectivity in schools across Ontario. The roll out of the first wave of improved broadband access will impact 73,000 students in Ontario according to the Ministry news release.

“In our recent survey of Catholic district school boards we learned that among the leading challenges facing boards is the need to expand network capacity to meet the growing demands for high speed, reliable internet service. For northern and rural boards, additional challenges relate to the costs of basic infrastructure required for connectivity and limited service provider options. We strongly recommended that these issues be addressed in our brief to the Minister of Education and today’s announcement indicates a step in the right direction towards remedying these deficiencies and providing equitable and adequate access to support 21st century learning for our students,” said OCSTA President, Patrick Daly.

According to today’s announcement, the province’s investment of $50 million focuses on improving broadband connectivity and access and depending on the needs of individual schools, infrastructure upgrades will include:

  • Investing in new fibre optic infrastructure to connect schools to an internet service provider
  • Improving network capacity to handle large amounts of data required to use new technologies in the classroom
  • Ensuring a broadband speed of 1 megabit per second per student and updating the network design to be more student-friendly

OCSTA will continue to monitor the roll out of this initiative and its impact on Catholic school boards.

“We look forward to working collaboratively with the Ministry of Education and our trustee association partners to ensure that the Ministry’s investment to improve broadband infrastructure continues to respond to the evolving needs of all school boards,” added Mr. Daly.

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association is the provincial voice for Catholic education. Founded in 1930, OCSTA represents the interests of Catholic school boards that collectively educate almost 550,000 students in Ontario, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.

For more information, please contact:
Sharon McMillan, Director of Communications
Tel: 416-932-9460, ext. 232  Fax: 416-932-9459  E-mail: smcmillan@ocsta.on.ca

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