Wirral primary school pupils first to benefit from LCR Connect’s new full-fibre broadband

13 February 2023
Metro mayopr Steve Rotheram sat surrounded by four school children all holding ip[ads showing their school webpage
Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Mayor, Steve Rotheram, with children from Church Drive Primary School.

Church Drive Primary School in Wirral is the first school in the Liverpool City Region to benefit from a full fibre connection delivered by LCR Connect – a new 212km digital network that is capable of delivering the fastest internet speeds in the country.

School children attending Church Drive in Bebington have had their ‘learning experience enriched creating a myriad of opportunities’ according to their headteacher, Joanna Jones.

LCR Connect is a joint venture led by Mayor Steve Rotheram, between the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, which owns 50% of the venture, alongside ITS Technology Group, and NGE, who are delivering the full fibre network that is being built across the six local authority 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 that form Oak Trees Multi-Academy Trust, Church Drive Primary is achieving 100Mbps speeds through its broadband connection, nearly three times faster than the service it has replaced for download and more than ten times faster for the upload. This ultrafast service is being delivered and managed by local IT service providers Hi-Impact and Exa Networks. 

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.”

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.

LCR Connect is on track to be completed this year. It is designed to underpin economic growth, innovation, inward investment, and job creation. In fact, experts estimate that, with 100% gigabit-capable fibre coverage across the city region, the economic boost could be worth up to £1bn, creating thousands of local job and training opportunities.

Organisations and businesses across the city region are invited to register their interest in connecting to the network by visiting Network Build | LCR Connect

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