UK Net Boss Checks KMi Schools

Hilary Baxter, the new Business Director for UKERNA (provider JANET, the UK’s education and research network), visited today to discuss the pioneering work KMi has undertaken with local schools. Baxter’s team undertakes “account management of JANET within HE, FE, Adult & Community Learning, Specialist Colleges and possibly schools in the future.”

KMi initiated the MKSchools.net project which now provides wireless broadband connectivity to dozens of schools across Miton Keynes, and serves over 25,000 students. The key to the connection, dreamed up by Peter Whalley in 1997, and set up by Marc Eisenstadt, Blaine Price and Denbigh School&#39s Chris Woods in 1998, is to piggyback a small-scale school network onto the large-scale internet connectivity that a nearby University can obtain. The scheme is now self-sustaining, and run as a fully-managed service by Neil Roche of OU AACS.

Neil joined the discussions today to provide an in-depth account of the technology that he and his team deploy to make the scheme run on a robust and cost-effective basis– something of great interest to UKERNA. A variety of projects were also discussed, ranging from Peter Whalley’s original projects with Heronsgate school, through to the CLUTCH clubs, and CitiSchool. Trevor Collins described the work underway (with Zdenek Zdrahal, Paul Mulholland, and David Bradbury) on the CIPHER project with Denbigh School, Bletchley Park, and the Gymnázium Jirího Gutha-Jarkovského in Prague.

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