North West Learning Grid
North West Learning Grid commissioned Imerja as technical design authority and to project manage the delivery of centralised and aggregated internet services to local education authorities in the region.
North West Learning Grid (NWLG) is a consortium of eighteen local education authorities (LEAs) within the North West region, working in partnership to improve the process and management of learning using the latest information and communication technologies. Central to its activities is the provision of e-learning content and the provision of a regional broadband network interconnecting all eighteen member LEAs.
Following a report into the central provision of internet transit via SuperJANET published in 2006, NWLG is undertaking a proof of concept activity with JANET UK to offer all member LEAs free internet connectivity.
The centralisation and aggregation of internet services isseen as an extremely positive and beneficial part of the ongoing development of a high quality service offering for schools. It will allow LEAs to leverage the good work already done by JANET UK in procuring high quality, high bandwidth internet transit, ensuring rapid and reliable access to important assets located on national and international networks.
“NW Authorities have invested time, patience and funding into the concept of a regional network and this provision not only doubles the internet bandwidth but saves councils £1.3million. Physical networks, though, are simple enablers of shared digital learning resources and that’s where the really significant savings will be made. A digital asset needs producing only once and then shared, instead of 18 areas each producing the same asset for the same part of the same curriculum.”
Gary Clawson, Chief Executive, NWLG
The current NWLG infrastructure delivers a single 155Mb bearer to each LEA. This has the capability to provide a number of Private Virtual Circuits (PVC). It is upon this network that NWLG intends to distribute 1Gb of internet bandwidth to member Local Authorities, delivering the additional benefits of online content and services to learners, whether they are in schools, libraries, or elsewhere in the community. This will provide a more unified, cost effective and consistent approach to delivering internet provision to the NWLG’s circa 2000 primary and secondary schools.
The Chief Executive of NWLG, Gary Clawson, views this as an opportunity to not only support BECTAs drive to implement an aggregated National Education Network but also to make significant savings across the region, shaping NWLG’s future as a sustainable organisation to the benefit of all its member authorities. Gary has commissioned Imerja to act as the Technical Design Authority and Project Management function for the delivery of the solution. Imerja is currently managing deployment of the solution and is ensuring effective delivery of the internet provision to NWLG Authorities.
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