The use of media is increasingly intensifying at all levels of education. The Swisscom “Internet for Schools” initiative is therefore challenged to respond to the growing needs of schools and cantons.Consequently, Swisscom is steadily expanding the initiative as well as its fee-based offerings for schools. Thanks to Swisscom, almost all primary and secondary schools in Switzerland are now benefiting from a broadband Internet connection. A key task for the initiative in the next few years will be to help kindergartens being integrated into primary schools as part of the intercantonal HARMOS concordat to take their first steps into the digital world.
Through the “Internet for Schools” initiative, Swisscom has been making a substantial contribution to the Swiss education system since 2002, initially as part of the government’s “Internet for Schools” initiative (2002–2007) and then independently in consultation with the relevant public-sector offices. Swisscom aims to work together with schools, cantons and federal offices to create a consolidated and efficient architecture for the future ICT landscape of the Swiss education system.
The number of schools benefitting from the “Internet for Schools” initiative has declined slightly (6,600 schools). In 2013 the consolidation of schools in many municipalities continued – owing in particular to the wave of mergers of municipalities in Switzerland. Nevertheless, the number of pupils and teachers involved in Internet for Schools has remained unchanged.
As the cost of a high-performance infrastructure has grown continuously in recent years, by agreement with the cantons, schools are now contributing to the costs of security solutions such as a firewall and content filter, on a user-pays basis. According to the bandwidth required, the costs per school amount to between CHF 1,560 and CHF 2,400 per year.