THOUSANDS of youngsters across the North East are now better connected at school, thanks to the region’s leading technology firm.

Aspire Technology Solutions won an £8m contract from schools’ IT specialists, One IT Services and Solutions to improve internet connections for around 150 schools across Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Teesside.

The firm is supplying high speed connections to schools in Sunderland, Durham, Hartlepool, Redcar, Stockton and Middlesbrough, working in collaboration with Stockton-based One IT.

Aspire beat off tough competition from huge global firms to win the contract – its largest to date – which will run for the next five years.

Andrea Warburton, Managing Director at One IT Services and Solutions, said the firm was pleased to award the work to a local firm, but said that was far from the only factor.

“Aspire stood head and shoulders above the competition in what they were able to do,” she said.

“When we chose Aspire, we were obviously interested in the fact that the company was local to the North East, but they also provided best value which was very important to us.

“Working with schools to supply their broadband is a very specialised area and we were impressed with Aspire’s understanding of how schools and their technology operates, and we knew this was the firm for the job.

“We’ve received great feedback so far and we feel we definitely made the right choice.”

Based at Heworth Hall, Gateshead, Aspire Technology Services offers a range of services including hosted services, data centre solutions, communications and IT support.

It boasts clients across a number of sectors including business, sport, law, waste management and entertainment, but the contract with One IT is its largest to date.

“At Aspire we work across many sectors but we are delighted that we are now being seen as a major player in the education sector because of the services we can provide,” Paul Shill, Aspire senior account manager.

“Our team has all the skills required to deal with the high demands of working with schools in this way, and so far, we’ve installed around 160 leased lines in schools.

“It’s also good news for schools across the region who now have faster, more reliable broadband.

“We are very proud that One IT chose Aspire ahead of some of the biggest technology firms in the country, and we aim to deliver the best service possible to prove they made the right choice.”

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