03 December 2015

Putting the Spark into digital learning

Spark is celebrating the milestone of N4L’s Managed Network reaching more than 90% of the country’s schools. As N4L’s key technology partner Spark is responsible for internet access, security , and content filtering.  More than 735,000 teachers and students throughout New Zealand now have access to fast uncapped internet in their classrooms.

Since selected as N4L’s preferred vendor in August 2013, Spark have been working with N4L to deliver a fast, reliable and safe way for New Zealand kids to learn online.  A virtual team of up to 70 people all over New Zealand work with ten different fibre providers to deliver services for N4L.  The scale of the project can be realised from these numbers;

-          More than 735,000 teachers and students connected

-          More than 2282 schools connected

-          10 Fibre companies involved

-          More than 90% of New Zealand schools now connected

-          Up to 70 Spark staff across the country work on the project

-          2255 routers deployed

-          200 virtual servers

Spark Digital CEO Tim Miles says that the team are immensely proud to be part of this project.

“We’ve worked very closely with N4L since before the first school was connected two years ago to design a scalable solution that can accommodate 800,000+ connections.  Our team have visited many of these schools nationwide to get a real understanding of how the learning environment has changed since they were in the school system and to understand the different technologies currently in use by schools”.

Spark works with different fibre companies to connect each school, then connects and configures the required routers.  They also provide web filtering in the cloud , resiliency, and service monitoring. 

N4L CEO John Hanna credits the steady rollout rate to the company’s collaborative approach: “Our recipe for success is to work very closely with schools and technology partners, such as Spark, to ensure every school’s needs are catered to, and that our technology and services are designed with growth in mind.”

Tim Miles adds: “In addition to connecting the remaining 10% of the country’s schools, Spark’s focus is making sure we work closely with N4L to ensure we can jointly deliver the best possible online environment for Kiwi kids that encourages and supports the uptake of digital learning.”