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Yorkshire takes schools web filtering open source

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The Yorkshire and Humberside Grid for Learning (YHGfL) has rolled out open source web filtering to 700 schools in the region. Financial details have not been released.

The system, built by OS services group Sirius, should prevent more than 200,000 school kids from accessing dodgy web pages. It is thought to be the largest such deployment in education so far, and is seen as something of a vote of confidence in the principles of open source software, by the educational establishment.

Yorkshire and Humberside Grid for Learning said having access to the source code for future developments was one of the main reasons it opted for open source, rather than continuing with a proprietary system. It also cited scalability and value for money as reasons for its choice.

The education sector could be a very lucrative place for open source to stake a claim, and the government has apparently been supportive. However, many in the open source community feel the pro-open source stance is disingenuous and that the support for OS is actually a pose, designed to give it a better negotiating position with the big software houses, like Microsoft. ®

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