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London schools to get next-generation fiber broadband

A UK fiber broadband provider has signed a contract to give over 2,500 schools in London next generation broadband speeds at a fraction of the cost.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

Virgin Media, one of the fiber broadband providers in the UK, has secured a five year contract to provide over 2,000 schools and one million school children super fast speeds.

The network will connect all 33 London boroughs to the fiber network, to replace the existing slower broadband network, to bring high-definition content and learning tools to the classroom.

Primary schools with children aged from 4 to 11 will have speeds doubled from 5Mbps to 10Mbps for half the price schools pay now. High schools with children aged between 11 and 16 will be able to access speeds priced less than one-third of the cost of a 100Mbps link for a 1Gbps connection.


While is is uncommon for universities to have 1Gbps dedicated lines into their campuses, the funding structure is different, with a vast quantity of tuition fees spent on improving university facilities. Schools are operated by local authorities and have smaller, fixed tax-payer dependent budgets.

Public sector cuts have hit the education system hard, with budgets being slashed and local councils and government suffering to maintain the services they already serve to the public.

The new contract, procured by the London Grid for Learning, will cut costs by up to two-thirds for schools which are connected to the new super-fast fiber network, saving up to £131 million ($208 million) each year. Anti-virus software will also be bought by the not-for-profit organisation to save costs.

But now the contract has been signed, it will allow every other local public sector authority to piggy back on the high speed fiber broadband too, spreading out cost savings even further.

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