Background

Established in 1980, Spirit Studios based on Tariff Street, Manchester comprised of a number of rehearsal rooms and a recording studio. It was at the heart of the Manchester music scene and bands such as The Smiths, The Stone Roses, Simply Red and New Order all came through their doors.

In 1984 they made the transition from commercial recording studio to educational facility and created the new company SSR – The School of Sound Recording.

The school started and continued to grow and eventually due to increasing student numbers they needed to relocate. In 2004 SSR launched the new facility at their current location on Downing Street, Manchester.

Today, SSR continues to be at the heart of the music and media industry. They have top-level professionals delivering guest lectures and master classes; they work with Universities and colleges to deliver innovative and highly practical degrees and also offer scholarships to support new talent. In 2009 they celebrated their 25th Anniversary and finished the year off by winning an award for Manchester’s Business of the Year in recognition of the quality and standard of their training.

SSR never stands still, they continually develop their curriculum and have branched out into fields such as TV and broadcast, post production, live sound, computer games, radio, theatres and retailers. In 2010 they opened a second facility in London and then in 2011 another one in Jakarta.

The Challenge

With 500 students working across a number of platforms including 17 studios, 4 computer suites and a 200 capacity live venue; SSR were in need of high-speed connectivity.

Previously SSR were connected on a 8mb BT Business ADSL line. However, this was no longer adequate. They waited to see if BT were going to upgrade their exchange cabinet but recently had confirmation that it would not.

While looking at Internet Service Providers, a current customer recommended that Tom Aston, Technical Director at SSR contact Metronet (UK). Luckily for Tom he made contact just as the Government’s Superfast Broadband Voucher Scheme was kicking off in August 2013. “This scheme came at the perfect time for us as we had just installed an additional computer suite and were now in need of high-speed connectivity for 140 workstations for the upcoming academic year.“

Metronet (UK) are the only wireless provider of the voucher scheme in Manchester, so this amongst Metronet (UK)’s other benefits helped Tom with his decision when it came to choosing a new provider. “The voucher scheme’s financial incentive and the fact that Metronet (UK) were the only provider in the UK that could deliver in our required timeframe for an upcoming event sped up our decision making process to upgrade.”

The Solution

The voucher scheme was the perfect solution for SSR so they signed up for a 3 year contract with a 30mb leased line connection. Tom states, “This solution could not have come at a better time for us, it was one of many facility upgrades our school underwent this summer that further strengthen our position as the leading training provider for the media industries”.

Metronet (UK) installed the superfast connection within a few weeks and it was up and running in time for the new academic year. This meant that all students, tutors and staff would have the benefit of increased online productivity and stability from the start of term. Tom adds, “This scheme helped us to obtain a fast and reliable internet connection much sooner than we originally thought possible.  Students, tutors and staff have benefitted with faster and more stable access to online resources.  SSR Manchester can now communicate better and share resources faster and with other campuses worldwide.” Events, guest lectures and more can now be streamed live to the Internet with interaction capabilities.