Regional educational network provider, London Metropolitan Network (LMN) has signed an £11.3 million contract to extend its existing relationship with networks provider THUS to deliver a high capacity, resilient next-generation telecommunications infrastructure.

The contract will provide LMN with a next-generation network (NGN) connecting 137 higher and further education colleges across Greater London, and enabling more than 1 million students to have access to advanced services that will support their learning.

LMN required sufficient bandwidth for research projects and online student collaboration. A NGN optical core delivering multiple 10Gbps channels will be supported by a 99.995% performance SLA from THUS. Many sites will be connected using 1Gbps Ethernet connection access and seven of the sites, with more demanding research applications, will use 10Gbps connections.

The NGN also provides the flexibility to increase capacity to 80Gbps at short notice as demand dictates, without the need for downtime, enabling the potential of the network to be fully exploited. LMN will use the network to support a number of applications including remote data storage, email filtering and access to JANET, the UK's education and research network.

Andrew Kerl, LMN procurement manager said: "The current LMN community is made of up Higher and Further Education, Adult and Community Learning, and other educationally related institutions and it is the intention of LMN Ltd that this community will be extended.

“LMN3 is being built to accommodate this expansion and will allow for the resulting growth in the number of access links. With this new network, London will have a carrier class network that is fit for purpose to carry it into the second decade of the 21st century."