London schools offered superfast Wi-Fi

Virgin Media Business and London Grid for Learning team up to offer affordable Wi-Fi to 2,000 of the capital’s schools

Schools across London have been given access to a new Wi-Fi network, enabling staff and pupils to take advantage of more technology in the classroom.

The network will be available to 2,000 schools across the capital through a partnership between London Grid for Learning (LGfL) and Virgin Media Business.

The two organisations have worked together for three years on creating a public sector network in London – the London Public Services Network, or London PSN – replacing the ageing infrastructure LGfL had to serve the education sector in the city with superfast broadband.

Now, they are offering wireless on top of the wired connections. Schools wanting to take advantage will need to purchase wireless access points to cover their buildings, but the network itself is run and managed centrally by LGfL, cutting costs significantly when compared to rolling out their own system.

Schools using the service are also being encouraged to install Voice over IP (VoIP) systems too, enabling them to cut existing costs on telephone services and contact other schools within the network for free.

“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 LGfL

"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,” he said.

Jeff Wollen, executive director of public sector at Virgin Media Business, added: “High-speed internet services are underpinning the delivery of some exciting classroom technology, and the PSN is at the heart of how the public sector in London will procure the best technology at an affordable price.

“Sharing services isn’t just about reducing costs and improving services, but allowing different departments and organisations to use technology to work together more effectively.”

Read more on Wireless networking