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Japan's first mass introduction of guaranteed bandwidth service in public schools, under the government's GIGA School Program
A stress-free network environment to meet the surge in traffic for learning applications
April 27, 2023
Internet Initiative Japan Inc.
TOKYO - April 27, 2023 - Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (TSE Prime: 3774), one of Japan's leading Internet access and comprehensive network solutions providers, today announced provision of a guaranteed bandwidth Internet access environment for 248 schools administered by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (high schools, special support schools, junior high schools and elementary schools, not including those on the islands under Tokyo’s jurisdiction), giving each school a 2 Gbps dedicated Internet access service, for a total of 496 Gbps. Whereas most schools in the GIGA School Program have introduced 1 Gbps best-effort(*1) school networks (maximum communication speed of 1 Gbps), this is the first case in Japan of mass provision to public schools of 2 Gbps (1 Gbps×2 circuits) guaranteed bandwidth Internet access. In terms of scale, it is also the largest project in Japan of Internet access environment provision to schools.
The GIGA School Program has been fully under way since April 2020, when plans were moved forward to deal with the lifestyle changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, there was a rush to provide the digital learning environment called for in the program, which has now reached the phase of "one device per student" with students making full use of their learning terminals. The prospect going forward, however, is for increased use of digital textbooks and digital teaching material, along with computer-based testing (CBT). It will be difficult to handle the resulting increase in traffic within the bandwidth originally assumed when the GIGA School concept was hatched, and with the current best-effort local breakout(*2) configuration using NTT FLET'S Hikari circuits. Internet use for learning is increasing rapidly also in Tokyo metropolitan schools, and already problems of insufficient bandwidth and latency have arisen in the existing network environment. The Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education therefore determined to upgrade the network environment in these schools.
In studying the next-phase Internet access environment, the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education came to consider introduction of a new environment that would meet the conditions of (1) securing 2 Gbps in bandwidth per school and (2) continuing to be viable for at least five years, based on the reference values given in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) guidelines on implementing the GIGA School concept. It further considered introduction of cloud-based URL filtering service to enable students to use their school-provided terminal devices both in and outside their school.
As a result of these studies, the Board decided that for ensuring the necessary bandwidth per school, introducing a guaranteed-bandwidth service with dedicated circuits for each school was preferable to bundling multiple best-effort circuits. IIJ was then chosen as the provider because of its capability of ensuring a total of around 500 Gbps needed to meet the requirements, thanks to having one of the largest Internet backbones in Japan. Provision of the Internet access service, URL filtering and other services began in March of this year.
To provide an ICT environment that realizes the "self-motivated, interactive, deep learning" aimed for in the GIGA School concept, creating opportunities for inquiry and learning by children, a network infrastructure with sufficient performance that can be used safely and securely, without being conscious of the network, is essential. By continuing to provide people in the classroom with a high-quality network environment that is a pleasure to use and also secure, IIJ will support the promotion of the GIGA School concept.
Founded in 1992, IIJ is one of Japan's leading Internet-access and comprehensive network solutions providers. IIJ and its group companies provide total network solutions that mainly cater to high-end corporate customers. IIJ's services include high-quality Internet connectivity services, systems integration, cloud computing services, security services and mobile services. Moreover, IIJ has built one of the largest Internet backbone networks in Japan that is connected to the United States, the United Kingdom and Asia. IIJ was listed on the Prime Market of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2022.
The statements within this release contain forward-looking statements about our future plans that involve risk and uncertainty. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results.
IIJ Corporate Communications
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