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Swisscom to offer free Internet access to schools

At least 100 schools have already expressed an interest in the project

(Keystone Archive)

Switzerland's largest telecommunications provider, Swisscom, has announced it will launch a project to provide schools throughout the country with free Internet access for the next three years.

Swisscom said it was prepared to invest "millions of francs" in the project over the next few years, which it said would enable all Swiss students to access the web from the classroom.

"Every child in Switzerland will be able to learn from an early age how to use the new media," the company said in a communiqué released on Tuesday.

"These are skills which they will find invaluable in the future," the statement added.

The first stage of the project began last month, when Swisscom sent out documentation to cantonal education authorities detailing the procedure and timetable for the project.

The company has set a number of stipulations which individual schools must adhere to before they can become eligible to be included in the programme.

These include the requirement that schools with up to 30 pupils must have at least four computers, while larger establishments are expected to have 10 or more terminals.

All schools will be required to integrate the theme of the Internet into classroom teaching.

Swisscom says educational authorities have warmly welcomed the project, citing the fact that in the six weeks since it sent out the documentation, 100 schools have already expressed a desire to be included in the programme.

The company predicts that nearly a quarter of the country's 4,000 schools will have signed up to the programme by the end of the year.

The Swiss government has also earmarked funds totalling SFr100 million to be invested in the project over the next five years.

swissinfo with agencies


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