Infrastructure > Cloud

LGfL and Virgin Media Business hail London schools network upgrade

David Bicknell Published 09 August 2016

Upgrade project targeted 2084 schools under the LGfL 2.0 schools bandwidth upgrade project


The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) has completed what it describes as “one of the biggest network upgrades in the world”, working with Virgin Media Business (VMB) to upgrade more than 2000 schools in London.

Between them, LGfL and VMB completed a target upgrade of 2084 schools as part of the  LGfL2.0 School Bandwidth Upgrade project. Another partner, Atomwide, provided a systems integration capability for the project, including network management.

The last upgrade of the 2084 upgrade orders saw Friern Barnet School in North London have its bandwidth upgraded to 200Mbps, and the school undergo a firewall and service quality test.  According to LGFL figures, overall, some 1700 schools have seen a total bandwidth uplift to date of over 115 Gpbs.

LGfL chief executive John Jackson said the successful upgrade project “cements our position as one of the leading education networks in the world. What we've done is to make the next generation of digital learning and wider service transformation possible.”

Jackson added, “At London Grid for Learning, we provide digital cloud based services for over a million children, 250,000 teachers and 750,000 plus public sector workers. We’ve been working together to upgrade more than 2000 schools in London - to build and improve one of the largest educational networks in the world.

“What’s really exciting about this is that this network can help us ensure that children get the best start in life and that teachers can really use innovative practices to make the classroom exciting and different for the future. And at this time when there are lots of Brexit blues, we should remember this: we’ve delivered in London one of the most innovative transformational projects in the world. And we’ve done it fantastically well.  And I want to say a huge thank you to Virgin Media on behalf of the children in London, and on behalf of their teachers.”

Jackson indicated that LGfL has now entered into a partnership with Ealing Council for its wide area networking (WAN) and local area networking (LAN) and it is accelerating the introduction of Microsoft Azure into councils. For the first time, said Jackson, LGfL is now supporting over 3000 sites.

Earlier this summer Jackson called on London local authority chief information officers and their IT teams to help design, build and implement digital services through the so-called London 'SuperCloud'.

The ‘SuperCloud’ is a hybrid cloud supported by the London Public Services Network (PSN) that LGfL provides, with a goal of providing 33 London boroughs with low-cost, cloud access to common services and applications.

Jackson believes the SuperCloud has huge potential in enabling real local government and wider public sector transformation, not only in London but throughout other parts of the country as well.

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