ntl:Telewest Business Selected by Sandwell College

ntl:Telewest Business has been selected by Sandwell College to deploy a next generation network (NGN) to connect its three campuses in the West Midlands. The network will enable staff and students to access administration tools, the Internet and e-learning facilities from any college PC. These include the open-source Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), enabling 24/7 access to course-related assignments and learning resources, and Mindset 2000's Profiler tool, which facilitates electronic student assessment.

Sandwell College, one of the largest providers of general further education in the area, runs a multitude of courses for 16 to 18-year-olds, as well as adults aged 19-plus. With technology in education moving well beyond email access and web browsing, an increasing number of staff and students across the Oldbury, Smethwick and West Bromwich campuses require access to VLEs, Web 2.0 tools and media-rich applications such as ClickView, which enables the distribution of pre-recorded video teaching resources direct to PCs. As a result, the college required a high-speed, durable network infrastructure that could support an effective and collaborative teaching and learning environment, as well as reliable access to business support systems, emails and file storage.

When the previous contract came to an end, Sandwell College tendered for network services and chose ntl:Telewest Business' 100 Megabits-per-second (Mbps) Metro Ethernet VPN due to its cost effectiveness and resilience. To improve continuity, ntl:Telewest Business also deployed two new links into the core network, so that all three campuses have Internet access. In the event of a connection failure at a site, traffic can now be rerouted via one of the other connections to prevent loss of service.

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