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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

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