The main objective of the SAT4EDU project is to assess the viability, and investigate the practical aspects, of satellite broadband connectivity to schools that are located in areas where no providers of broadband access services currently operate (and no such providers are expected in the near future), or where there are providers, but the quality of their Internet access is not good enough to allow the use of on-line educational multimedia.
The schools who will be offered a place in the project will be chosen on the basis of an analysis of national broadband maps, usually provided by national regulatory telecommunications bodies. Schools with poor or no connectivity will be invited to sign an agreement with the SAT4EDU consortium, who will then provide satellite access free of charge for a 12-month period. Broadband access will be deployed by installing a satellite dish and modem/router, which will be connected to the school’s computers (preferably to the school’s local network).
The schools will be given the option of taking over the satellite broadband subscription at the end of the 12-month period, or of terminating the connection and having no further obligations. The cost of installation, subscription, and eventual de-installation will be fully covered by consortium. The consortium and its partners will fully support schools with advisory and maintenance services. The guidebooks for teachers will help them choose content that suits the characteristics and limitations of the satellite broadband connection (relative high latency, up to 1.5 sec) so it won’t be an obstacle to using educational multimedia. Guidebooks for both teachers and pupils will help them in the safe and secure use of educational multimedia content Each of the schools involved in project will be equipped with software and hardware firewalls.
To achieve the objectives of our project, the changes achieved by having on-line content available in schools will be monitored with surveys at the beginning, the mid-term, and at the end of the 12-month period, as well as by automatic monitoring of traffic. The results obtained from both monitoring sources will be summarized in a final report to be presented at the end of the project.