A message from our colleague Brian Durrant, CEO of the London Grid for Learning Trust
To Schools served by London Grid for Learning
We have heard today from a number of schools who have kindly advised us they had been contacted by an Internet firm offering ‘a cheap broadband service to replace London Grid for Learning’. During the call, the caller claims, among other statements which we believe are misleading, that “LGfL is no longer supporting schools”.
Since this is most definitely not the case, the LGfL Board of Trustees are concerned that schools should not be misled in this way, hence this email.
Quite unrelated to, and unaware of the above, LGfL has been working since June on a new deal for schools, for which there has been a lengthy but recently completed negotiation with our suppliers (Virgin Media Business) – and rather earlier than intended, I want to let you know that we will shortly be writing to schools with a new offer – for 96% of schools we will be able to at least double your dedicated connection’s existing speed (e.g. schools which chose 10Mb will go up to at least 40Mb) and at the same time significantly reduce the future annual charge for the overall LGfL service package, which includes essential services such as industry-strength anti-virus protection for all your schools’ computers including those at home, (worth alone about £2,000 a year for an average sized school) plus LGfL’s vast library of premium learning resources and digital collections. If you are not entirely sure of all that is included with your LGfL connection, please do take a look at www.showcase.lgfl.net – and make the most of your LGfL.
We understand that the company making the calls is offering basic broadband products termed as ‘fibre-to-the cabinet’ (fttc) or xDSL. These products are cheaper than full broadband and for good reason. LGfL could offer cheaper services to schools using these products, but does not do so because in the considered assessment of a large team of experts who work with schools and make up LGfL Trust advisory boards, they are inappropriate and inadequate for schools’ use. Some IT companies who support schools are apparently being incentivised financially to sell the fttc type products to the schools they work with. LGfL does not spend schools’ money in this way, or in employing an army of sales reps, only on providing schools with high quality secure services and resources, procured at scale to achieve savings for schools. If you would like to know more about the difference between full broadband and fttc/xDSL, there is a simple infographic here: www.whyfibre.lgfl.net
For about half of school locations within the London region, fttc is not available, and for many where it is, the speed which can be achieved is significantly less than the stated ‘headline’ figure. This is because of the distance from the exchange and results in the upload speed (used for data backup or remote services like a learning platform) being much slower. However the main difference is that it is a contended (shared) connection, unlike LGfL’s ‘fibre-all-the-way’ which is entirely dedicated to your school, and connects directly to the huge capacity of LGfL’s ‘schools only’ secure regional network.
I hope this information is helpful to you, and look forward to the London Schools’ LGfL community continuing to benefit from this unique not-for-profit regional collaboration for many years to come. While writing let me mention for your diary that the date has been set for our 2016 London Schools’ Conference – 11th April 2016 – programme details to follow in due course. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
Best wishes for a good weekend.
Chief Executive London Grid for Learning Trust
St Georges Square
New Malden KT3 4TE
t 020 8408 4455 helpdesk 020 8255 5555 f 020 8408 6014
www.lgfl.net a school improvement partner
www.showcase.lgfl.net an array of content and services
www.trustnet.pro now available UK wide