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Stone turns ISP to provide schools with broadband alternative

It's proving to be a busy BETT show for Stone as it unveils a host of initiatives, including entering the ISP market

The theme that is emerging in the education market is that the channel clearly believes there are revenue opportunities to be made providing connectivity services.

At the start of the week RM revealed that it had spent £3m building a core network that could help schools take advantage of a fast and secure infrastructure.

Hot on the heels of that announcement comes the move by Stone Group to enter the ISP space to meet the demand from the education market for broadband suppliers that understand their needs.

Against the backdrop of the education show BETT the move by Stone, which starts immediately, should generate a fair amount of interest from attending schools and colleges.

The Stone Connected service offers broadband connection, management and support, which all come from the channel player and will provide the firm's existing customers with an alternative to the existing Regional broadband Consortium and Local Authority offerings.

Stone is pushing the greater flexibility that its broadband delivers, as well as the benefits of optional e-safety services, which should appeal to schools trying to protect students.

Simon Harbridge, CEO at Stone Group, said that broadband was a fundamental piece of the technology jigsaw for educational institutions.

"A fast, secure and scalable broadband connection is core to a school’s technology strategy. Nothing, whether it is a curricular or business management issue can succeed without decent broadband. We’ve developed Stone Connected because so many of our customers are frustrated with their current broadband suppliers, and, frankly, we felt it could be done better," he said.
“With Stone Connected, we’ve built a broadband product that is easy to make changes to. If you want to add services or wider connectivity, you are able to do so very quickly, because we’re cutting out the grid for learning style administrative, time-consuming middle-men," he added.

As well as entering the ISP market Stone is also using BETT as a platform to launch its Stone Assist programme, which provides primary schools with IT support and Stone Unity, proving a cloud and infrastructure solution aiming at Multi-Academy Trusts.

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