FROM the smallest primary to the largest academy, 99 per cent of Hampshire schools get superfast broadband, thanks to a county council initiative.

Hampshire Public Services Network 2 (HPSN2) gives fast and secure Internet access to schools even in rural areas that are usually in the slow lane.

Nearly every school in the county has opted to join the public service fibre optic network – offered by the council in partnership with Virgin Media.

Hampshire County Council leader, Councillor Ken Thornber , said: “The fact that almost every school in Hampshire has chosen to join HPSN2 is an impressive achievement.

“As the Internet is increasingly used by pupils to support learning and by schools to access more and more services online, it is vital that we support them by offering an Internet service that is fast, cost-effective, reliable and safe.”

The £90m HPSN2 is designed to be used by public sector employees across the county from teachers to emergency services.

Schools receive bandwidth of up to 100Mbps with the option of other services such as telephony and additional bandwidth.

County chiefs say the pioneering service was rolled-out ahead of schedule and on budget. HPSN2 is now also being offered to other local authorities.