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An updated high-speed broadband network provided by ntl:Telewest Business will significantly improve broadband access for schools in Hertfordshire.

ntl:Telewest Business, which is part of the Virgin Media Group, has invested £5.5 million in an upgrade to the Hertfordshire Grid for Learning (HGfL).

The HGfL is a private network that links schools, youth programme units, education support centres and residential children's homes in the county.

As a result of the upgrade, 178,000 pupils will have access to numerous e-learning resources that will help them while either at school or at home.

In total, 572 educational sites will benefit from "faster, more reliable access to online teaching and learning resources".

Dave Mansfield, Technical Infrastructure Manager at Hertfordshire County Council, said that a fast, reliable broadband connection is vital in education.

He commented: "Having a high-speed infrastructure in place that supports virtual learning environments, secure email and finance and human resources systems is no longer just an added extra for schools but pivotal to the efficient and effective running of institutions."

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