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London Grid for Learning Raises Minimum Speeds for Schools to 100Mbps

Thursday, April 27th, 2017 (8:52 am) - Score 849

The London Grid for Learning (LGfL), which is a consortium of local authorities and around 2,500 Schools in the city, has raised the data connectivity speed over their Virgin Media Business supplied “fibre optic” TRUSTnet platform to a minimum of 100Mbps and at no additional cost.

The LGfL is a non-profit organisation and charitable trust that was established in 2001 to offer cost-effective ICT to schools across the capital. As part of that VMB offers a “high-speed, dedicated and securePublic Service Network (PSN) platform to schools in the city, which connects up to 3,000 unique locations, over a million students and all 33 London local authorities (they’ve also branched out to other parts of the UK).

Virgin has been responsible for building and maintaining the network for the past 6 years and the original platform was already rated to deliver data speeds of between 10Mbps and 10Gbps, as well as supporting various other features like WiFi and VoIP. Last year the network was given a bandwidth boost via the LGfL2.0 School Bandwidth Upgrade project (here) and it sounds like that has supported today’s announcement.

John Jackson, CEO of LGfL, said:

“We’re not just serving education in London but we’re now increasingly servicing education nationally and that opens up so many opportunities for us.

Whatever we do in terms of a digital platform, a move to cloud, putting in Wi-Fi etc, I guarantee that bandwidth will be going up. Because we’re a fibre based network, because we’ve designed our own network, because we’re partners with Virgin Media, we’re in a position to do what very few others can do in the world. We can take the bandwidth up. LGFL at no additional cost to schools, is going to raise the bar for connectivity to a minimum of 100 megabits per second.

LGFL at no additional cost to schools, is going to raise the bar for connectivity for TRUSTnet to a minimum of 100 meg. We will create the fastest, the most high speed infastrustructure for teaching and learning, I believe, in the world. That will drive a fundamental change in what you want to do and how you want to do it.”

The speed boost forms part of the LGfL’s new 2020 “pledge” for the next five years, which sets out the organisations future direction of travel. Jackson also took a moment to boast about the strong economies of scale and buying power that comes from having such as large community (e.g. the network upgrade is claimed to have saved schools £13.5m).

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