London schools extend PSN deal with Virgin Media Business for £1bn

The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) has extended its public sector network deal with Virgin Media Business for £1 billion, with the new contract expected to run until 2028.

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The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) has extended its public sector network deal with Virgin Media Business for £1 billion, with the new contract expected to run until 2028.

Virgin Media Business has been connecting more than 2,000 schools in the capital since 2011 when it replaced a decade-old contract with broadband network provider Synetrix.

Since 2011 Virgin has been enabling secondary schools across London to have access to 100 Mbps bandwidth for a third of the price, over the course of a year, of the previous Synetrix contract.

The contract award notice outlining the new deal doesn’t provide many details, but Virgin Media Business is expected to make a full announcement in January where new cost savings will be outlined.

Earlier this year LGfL also signed a deal with Virgin Media Business to provide a new Wi-Fi service and Voice over IP (VoIP) technology to 2,000 schools across London, which is delivered via its network.

By installing VoIP, schools aim to reduce their on-going telephony spend and will also benefit from free calls to other school sites on the system. These services will enable schools to take advantage of new e-learning tools like tablets, interactive whiteboards and educational podcasts.

“Technology is radically changing the way we live and work, and increasingly empowers the way that teachers teach and children learn,” said Brian Durrant, chief executive of the London Grid for Learning Trust, at the time of the announcement.

“London schools are already leading the way as a blueprint for technology in education for the UK and beyond; and the addition of Wi-Fi and VoIP to LGfL services for schools will further support that lead.”