Plus you won't have any decent connections/peering to most of the content providers which you'll use daily. please be EXTREMELY careful about that, there is *no way in hell* that is a suitable connection for any size of school. Do you really want responsibility for when things go wrong - connection and esafety? Time to shout at people.
Out of interest how many are asking the other prospective providers outside of the EMBC framework about the design structure of their network and what redundancy is in place should a PoP / Exchange fail? How many PoPs to the internet do they have and do those PoPs have a history of failure?
Just to return to the RM offering. As has been said, their keen pricing appears to be tempting. First I must correct something I said in one of my earlier posts. I mentioned that RM would be using Virgin. Well, it appears after a meeting we had with representatives from Derbyshire LEA yesterday, that it would more than likely be TalkTalk in the particular part of Derbyshire we happen to be. That figures as Virgin told us at the Pride Park meeting they don't have a presence at all in this area.
What we're seeing here is a typical RM approach where they use a 3rd party service, rebadging it, and adding their mark up.
Whilst it may appear to be a good offering, the question still has to be asked "Will it be what schools need in the way of reliability etc?". Now whilst I cannot answer that, I can only say that if, and it's a very big IF, we did go to them there is NO way either me or my Head would use their email / filtering services because RM let down my Head's previous school's email badly for an unacceptable period of time and from my point of view anything RM has touched on things we've had to use i.e. Kaleidos VLE and QCA testing (Arghh - pulls hair out!) has almost been the "kiss of death" or pretty unusable.
In speaking to our LEA yesterday I think there are a few things to consider:
1. Potentially staying with the EMBC offering, primarily with KCOM as the core network provider (application extras via Synectrix /Capita and others is more open and not likely to have an impact on pricing for all) appears that it may benefit primaries, especially if we viewed it as being in a type of co-operative where a large presence of schools benefits other schools i.e. primaries.
2. If someone drives a JCB shovel through the link or some other disaster, how resilient will the network be whether from KCOM or another provider outside of EMBC. In speaking to the LEA yesterday, it would seem there is a reasonable degree of resilience in the EMBC / KCOM infrastrusture.
3. Taking ourselves away fronm the EMBC offerring also potentially means coming out of the Education network / Janet. There could be some services that some schools use that could be lost as a result i.e. the Pathe Film Library.
Now I know that these points don't cover al questions on this issue, but they are important considerations. Whilst price is important, does anyone want cheap (if, indeed, it can be called cheap!) for cheap's sake. Surely a sound reliable service with good response when there are hiccups. Also, some secondaries that I am speaking to are of the mind that we don't really want to leave primaries floundering if our presence helps.
Forgot to say as well that continuity of service by staying with current suppliers through into the next contract period could be important for some / many schools, if they don't want to have tooo much disruption.
A vast majority (but not all, certainly) of education providers offer the relevant peering to Ja.net etc; all of the people we've spoken to have although some are making dubious claims about other things so that shouldn't be a major change.
Primary concern with management when decisions are made is that you MUST COVER YOUR BACKS AT ALL TIMES - they may force your hand and sign up to something unsuitable but you MUST make any concerns known in writing and make sure that you are not left with responsibility for any shortfalls due to their decision. If you accept more responsibility (for instance filtering) then make sure you are compensated for it.
Well a number of comments .... so in answer please see the following
Contention ... yes Ive asked about this. Virgin say that although there will be contention at times our speed should never drop below 40 meg.
Symetric or not ... We have very little uploads .. its unmeasurable so this is not a problem ...
Content providers? not sure about this one .. We dont use Merlin etc ...
Its not a home connection ... Virgin state that amongst other things contention is much lower for a business line and the SLA is completly different.
Our daily average usage is aroung 3 meg and we have never used over 5 ever ...
BRpilot: good luck, I hope your contract with Virgin is tight, and that you have a decent union willing to back you up if things go pearshaped. Assuming you're with a primary school then that is even more important. Cover yourself and your school, because without any filtering (with it all your end) you open yourself up to a can of worms that a fisherman wouldn't even dip his hand into.
I warn now that some of the quotes I've seen already from kcom for connectivity alone are not competitve however I need to see complete pricing before I can say any more about that. Hopefully we get a fuller picture come early March as said.
Sorry I forgot to add in the filtering .. it will probably be a smoothie. Yes we are a small primary!
I read that post on the other page as £42k a month, with a £250k installation fee.
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