Schools are among the most distributed entities on the national territory and, especially in the Regions of Convergence, they are often lacking high bandwidth connectivity. The implementation of a fiber network access infrastructure for schools , interconnected by the national GARR-X network, is among GARR-X Progress objectives, in line with the “ National plan for digital schools" established by the Ministry of Research and Education and with activities already being carried out by other Research and Education Networks in Europe and worldwide.

Ultra-broadband interconnection to boost digital innovation in teaching and learning

The deployment of a high-bandwidth access network based on fiber optics will not only offer high quality connectivity, but also a set of additional services that can contribute to achieve the objectives set out in the Digital Agenda.

In addition, it will contribute in bringing School and University closer together and stimulating a fruitful exchange between these two worlds, thus favoring vocational guidance and the creation of research curricula. The widely distributed interconnection of schools is in any case a major challenge both in terms of organization and funding. For this reason, in 2012 GARR carried out a pilot involving about 100 schools to study possible technical and managerial solutions to meet this challenge.

Participating schools

As a part of GARR-X Progress, about 380 secondary schools located in the larger municipalities of the 4 Regions of Convergence will be interconnected to the National Research and Education Network through high-bandwidth fiber links. This number could increase in the event of mobilization of further funding at the local or national level. In the 18 cities where GARR-X Progress will develop its points of presence, about 260 school buildings (for a total of 380 schools) will be connected.

The 380 schools were selected on the basis of technical criteria, including their location in the urban areas and their distance from GARR PoPs.

High speed fiber links

GARR-X Progress will provide schools a bidirectional fiber link with a guaranteed bandwidth capacity of at least 100 Mbps. To this end, an aggregation network will be implemented in order to interconnect schools while offering added-value services. A high-quality, symmetric network enables the use of hardware and software technologies that require high bandwidth capacities not only in download but also in upload, such as audio- and video-streaming, e-learning and videoconferencing.


All connected schools can use the service mix offered with the basic access profile to GARR. These include network technical support, multivideoconferencing, federated digital identity and mobility, CSIRT service, and allocation of IP addresses with .it and .eu domain names.


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