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Budgets and Expenditure Thread, Durham Net in School Administration; I work at a school in County Durham and I am trying to find out about alternatives to durhamnet has ...
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    Question Durham Net

    I work at a school in County Durham and I am trying to find out about alternatives to durhamnet has anyone opted out of using them and if so who do you now use?

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    Hightower's Avatar
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    Would love to - please let me know how you get on

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    Trust-No-One's Avatar
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    @girlygeek: We are in the same situation too (I was going to post a new thread on this issue, as quite frankly - it stinks).

    Just to fill the rest of you in - Durhamnet, the Durham area RBC, has doubled the cost of broadband provision for all schools they provide for; citing BT as the source of its price hike.

    So we will now be expected to pay roughly £20k (Exact cost varies by ~2k from snippets of information we've heard) for a 10meg connection.

    If you are close to an exchange - you could probably get away with some bonded ADSL/SDSL connections. NGfL and Zen Internet are other possibilities. If several schools in one area club together they could share the cost of a line from said alternatives.

    Feel free to PM me.

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    It would appear that our Bursers are unwilling to pay this amount to durhamnet so any and all suggests would be welcome

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    @girlygeek we are also in the same situation and we may also be looking at an alternative solution to DurhamNet.

    Will keep you and everyone else interested posted with any findings.

    @Trust-No-One the letter sent to schools regarding the increase in cost also suggested that the school use the Harnessing Technology allocation to pay for the increase in broadband costs even though this money is ring-fenced for the purchase of class room technologies!

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    @AngryITGuy: Yes, it does. It's a bit like saying "we know you have access to this budget, we want our hands on it, so use it and pay our new price."

    Am I right in thinking that they are charging us the new costs for last year's service (08-09)? Are they allowed to do this by law?

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    I got a shock when I found out we were being charged for filtering (that stupid red screen). The thing is, they were filtering sites that we wanted to use like YouTube.

    When I rang to ask them to unblock they said they can't/wouldn't. If we're paying for the filtering why can't it filter what we want.

    Emailed them last week to get some port forwarding done. Last time I asked it took about a month. It's now in its second week - lets see how long it takes....

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    Trust-No-One's Avatar
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    @HIghtower: Yes, it's rather pathetic. We were told over 2 years ago we would have better control over filtering - this has still not materialised. I don't think we have the option of not accepting the filtering either - it's a mandatory cost.

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    AngryITGuy's Avatar
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    @Hightower & @Trust-No-One filtering is joke to be honest especially when like already mentioned sites the school wishes to use are blocked.

    Apparently its a single county wide poilcy that is being implemented which then means that individual schools cannot request changes as it would affect everyone.

    I too was shocked at the fact that we are charged for filtering especially when its a service the school cannot opt out of.

    I have tried on numerous occasions to get the filtering removed and have been told that as its part of the SLA and something the LEA enforces schools cannot have it removed!

    And yes the bill is for 08-09 which means schools have until April to pay, I have heard rumours of some schools actually paying the bill already.

    The other thing regarding the letter sent to the schools was that also attached was an entire breakdown of the funds allocated to the school, for 08-09 how did they manage get access to such sensitive information?

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    Contact Janet, get a line from them, will prob have to go though a local uni\college
    Support Home

    Buy a cisco router, set it up, setup a proxy server (dansguardian\squid) or buy smoothwall. Ask the uni\college for help (if need).

    Offer me free hosting (colocation) for my server on you nice new internet connection

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    Trust-No-One's Avatar
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    It's interesting that you say the filtering is part of the SLA - does such a contract even exist between a school and DurhamNET? I don't think we have one - at least not in writing. I feel sorry for the schools who have already paid.

    Like a lot of schools we installed our own filtering service as an additional layer to gain more control and reporting features.

    One school I am aware of has removed the so-called 'Magic box' completely and thus doesn't have the restrictions. I don't know if their web traffic still goes through DurhamNET's cache servers though.

    The impression I'm getting at the moment is that most schools are at the end of their tolerance with DurhamNET for one reason or another, and this price rise is the last straw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust-No-One View Post
    One school I am aware of has removed the so-called 'Magic box' completely and thus doesn't have the restrictions. I don't know if their web traffic still goes through DurhamNET's cache servers though.
    I would like to hear more about this.

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    @Hightower: It's just what I heard - I don't know the name of the school in question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust-No-One View Post
    It's interesting that you say the filtering is part of the SLA - does such a contract even exist between a school and DurhamNET? I don't think we have one - at least not in writing. I feel sorry for the schools who have already paid.
    Don't feel sorry for them, all these schools have managed to prove is that they have more money than the rest of us.

    I have never seen or laid eyes on this so called SLA so am not sure if its just an Urban Legend!

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    We have removed our magic box and have a seperate squid proxy installed although we do still have the red screen proxy from county but we have been told we are required to have 2 layers of proxy protection although on many occations we bypass the red screen.

    Can anyone shed any light on the proxy requirements withing schools. We do not seem to have an SLA for the filtering system with is provided by Durhamnet.
    Last edited by girlygeek; 28th January 2009 at 02:47 PM.

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