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LGfL plans gigabit connectivity for schools

29/04/19

Mark Say Managing Editor

LGfL is increasing the internet bandwidth it provides to schools with the potential for rates up to 1Gbps.

Binary code in cable

John Jackson, chief executive of the charity, said it will provide a minimum bandwidth of 100Mbps for primaries and 500Mbps for secondaries, with the capacity to go up to the gigabit mark.

He told UKAuthority the network was under development in response to a massive increase in demand for bandwidth among schools, fuelled by the increasing use of cloud services and new classroom technologies.

“We see there will be a massive change in bandwidth consumption and schools will transform using more mobile devices and technologies such as virtual and augmented reality,” he said. “We can give it to them on a scale bigger than anyone else in the UK and one of the biggest in the world.”

The charity, which provides network and technology services for member schools, acts as an internet service provider in establishing connections to the Janet network for higher education and research, which is managed by Jisc.

Jackson added that LGfL is building a core network named Ignite with a capacity up to hundreds of gigabits that could also enable it to deliver its services overseas. 

The new network is currently being tested and, while there are no deployments in place so far, it is scheduled to go live within the next 12-20 months.

“As long as they have a point of access to the internet we can provision virtual routers and virtual firewalls to support their services,” Jackson said.

This follows an upgrade of its LGfL 2 network to LGfL 2.5, which has involved an expansion of the core capacity.

Image from iStock

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