Internet appliance company Equiinet has been awarded a major contract to supply its content/caching server, CachePilot, to all Surrey County Councils schools. Part of a 10 million broadband contract won by Easynet, the project was commissioned by Four S - a joint venture between Surrey County Council and support services provider VT Group.
The network being provided by Easynet will provide a fully managed network at a minimum of 2Mbps for primary schools and 10Mbps for secondary schools. It is recognized that the demand for bandwidth will increase rapidly as video conferencing and multimedia are made more use of and CachePilot will play a vital role here, enabling much content and web-based information to be stored and delivered directly from the server rather than across the internet. As well as providing caching and content delivery, CachePilot will provide additional URL filtering which enables each school to set unique filtering profiles, complementing the N2H2 centralised filtering services on the Easynet network.
"As schools start using e-learning, they discover its benefits and typically need more and more bandwidth quite quickly," says Equiinets director of special projects, Keith Baker. "The combination of CachePilot, which minimizes the amount of bandwidth required for fast internet access and content delivery, and Easynets easily upgradeable, high capacity infrastructure, means that schools wont find themselves running into difficulties in the medium to long-term.
"Broadband has been cited as a great panacea for bandwidth limitations, but the reality is that demand can very quickly outstrip supply if it isnt managed effectively. We were delighted to work with Four S, who fully appreciate the need for Surrey schools to make best use of the available e-learning content and to foster its use within teaching."
Equiinet and Easynet work closely together and have jointly won several other key contracts, including Local Education Authorities (LEAs) within the Northern Grid and Slough LEA.