£170m schools cloud contract awarded in Northern Ireland

By Stuart Sumner
09 Mar 2012 View Comments

IT services firm Northgate Managed Services (NMS) has won a £170m contract to provide a cloud environment for schools in Northern Ireland.

NMS will deliver the networks and telecommunications infrastructure necessary to implement the project in partnership with its subcontractor Eircom.

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The contract, which is scheduled to run for five years, requires that NMS designs, implements, manages and supports what will be known as the Education Cloud environment for schools in Northern Ireland.

The cloud will provide secure access to educational resources online around the clock.

Telecoms firm Eircom will deliver superfast connectivity to the Education Cloud, hoping to provide schools with up to 200Mbit/s of bandwidth.

Teachers and students will be able to access cloud-based resources securely via mobile devices, including smartphones and iPads from the classroom.

NMS says the Education Cloud will also provide the ability to scale computing resources to meet the needs of schools, with centralised backup and archiving services.

Jimmy Stewart, director at Classroom 2000, a project set up by the department of education in Northern Ireland to provide IT services for schools in the country, explained that the contract is designed to use technology to assist learning.

"The new ICT service has been designed to recognise the educational requirements of Northern Ireland schools, deliver technology-driven learning environments and incorporate the latest innovations in technology."

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