Speak to an expert : Live Chat exa online chat

Centralised internet connection for 170 schools

Our recent work with Birmingham City Council and Entrust has provided 170 schools in the city with a centralised internet connection.

centralised internet connection

Entrust were looking for an ISP to replace Birmingham Grid for Learning (BGfL)’s offering with a centrally managed solution. The project’s aim was to deliver the same range of services, allowing the schools to transition seamlessly. The schools’ connectivity was provided through council hubs, so this wasn’t a straightforward task.

Our team devised a plan to deliver the size and complexity needed by the project. It was quickly identified that new fibre would need to be installed. This would replace current lines and provide a direct connection to the points of presence.

“The partnership between Exa Networks and Entrust delivered a solution that maintained a set of enterprise-class centralised services at its core, provided more local control, using the SurfProtect platform, and more resilience, via backup connectivity as standard, than was found in the legacy LA offering.

“The Exa and Entrust project teams worked closely and effectively together to overcome the challenge of migrating significant numbers of schools during the pandemic. Exa demonstrated innovation, efficiency and commitment and have become a trusted partner for Entrust and our customers.”

Our solution

Our team worked to devise a plan that could deliver against the size and complexity of the project. It was quickly identified that new fibre would need to be installed, replacing current lines and providing a direct connection to the points of presence.

Safeguarding & Security

We introduced our SurfProtect Quantum content filtering, to ensure the schools are compliant with the Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSiE) guidelines and the Prevent Duty.  To deliver the security aspect of the project we included our virtual firewall solution – powered by Fortinet’s FortiGate VM firewall.


Previously, when Entrust and their schools experienced issues, they were often waiting for long periods for them to be resolved, due to the fact they had many points of contact for their services. 

Our solution provides a direct route to the managed services – streamlining processes, reducing the administrative burden and ultimately decreasing wait times when requests for changes are made.

Exa and Entrust replacement of BGFL case study

Download the full
case study

Suggested Next Read

Related News Articles

The Exa Foundation

Contact us


Contact us

Is DarkLight connectivity best suited to you?

Dark fibre is perfect if you are looking for a potentially limitless, ultrafast connection with complete flexibility and control.

If you fully rely on the internet, a dark fibre connection could be the best option for you.

Is Leased Line connectivity best suited to you?

Leased Lines are best suited to you if you have high bandwidth requirements and need a reliable, uncontended service.

It is ideal for you if you regularly carry out large uploads and downloads, use cloud based services and a VoIP telephone system as well as video conferencing, for everyday communication.

Is GPON connectivity best suited to you?

GPON is a great choice for you if you need gigabit speeds but don’t need them to be symmetrical. It is becoming more widely available across the UK but may not be immediately available to you yet.

Is Rural Fibre connectivity best suited to you?

If you want to make the move to full fibre, but are based in a rural area, this option is for you.

Is FTTP connectivity best suited to you?

If you have a number of users who use cloud-based applications to upload and download data on a daily basis, but don’t transfer large amounts of data, FTTP might be your best option.

Is Gfast connectivity best suited to you?

If your line cannot support a minimum of 100Mbps, this connection is not for you. Gfast must meet the speed as a minimum. 

If your line meets this need, and you’re looking for an ultrafast, consistent and reliable connection without the hassle and upheaval of construction work – this could be a good fit.

It’s worth noting that Gfast is a stop gap to FTTP, and is not a technology that is likely to be around for a long time.

Is FTTC connectivity best suited to you?

If you need more bandwidth but don’t really need a guaranteed speed, FTTC could be for you. It is widely available throughout the UK, making it suitable as a main connection. As this connection provides higher speeds than ADSL, it is also a good option for a back up to a leased line.

As with ADSL, once the PSTN is turned off in 2025/26, FTTC will become virtually obsolete and at the very least you will require FTTP to remain connected.



Office hours

Monday: 8:30am – 5pm
Tuesday: 8:30am – 5pm
Wednesday: 8:30am – 5pm
Thursday: 8:30am – 5pm
Friday: 8:30am – 5pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed


Contact us

Office hours

Monday: 8am – 4pm
Tuesday: 8am – 4pm
Wednesday: 8am – 4pm
Thursday: 8am – 4pm
Friday: 8am – 4pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed


Contact us

Office hours

Monday: 8am – 5pm
Tuesday: 8am – 5pm
Wednesday: 8am – 5pm
Thursday: 8am – 5pm
Friday: 8am – 5pm
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed

Is DSL connectivity best suited to you?

DSL connections offer very limited bandwidth so it might be right for you if you typically use the internet for less data-intensive tasks. If you’re sending emails, browsing the web, downloading very small files and working with small amounts of data – you should be fine with DSL.

It is worth noting connections based on copper wire, like DSL, will be switched off in the UK by Openreach, with a phased approach due to begin at the end of 2025. If you don’t have a fibre connection at the moment, you’ll need to upgrade this as well as move to a VoIP telephone system.

Technical Support

Contact us

Office hours

Monday: 8am – 6pm
Tuesday: 8am – 6pm
Wednesday: 8am – 6pm
Thursday: 8am – 6pm
Friday: 8am – 6pm
Saturday: 10am – 4pm
Sunday: 10am – 4pm