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East Midlands Broadband Consortium (EMBC) Thread, Primary School Requirements in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); Hi, not sure if this is the right website or forum to get information ... but here I am. I ...
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    Primary School Requirements

    Hi, not sure if this is the right website or forum to get information ... but here I am. I am not technical and will ask stupid questions!

    I am working on a local team to get a community broadband solution into a rural area. We had been looking at using EMBC as a potential supplier of a bearer for a wireless provider by using 80% of a primary school with a 100meg bearer. the costs EMBC have provided are ridiculous.

    However, in looking at this solution I am scandalised at the prices the primaries are going to have to pay for their broadband (about 50% of a teacher's salary) and I don't want the schools in the area making the choice to have less teachers. Consequently our wireless provider has had a look and said they could provide the schools the service for a lot less.

    My problem is that I don't understand what services schools require in order that I can make an initial judgement before talking to school heads. Does anyone have a link to some guidance, or a short summary of what schools MUST have in place and what they might also want in place?

    any guidance appreciated ... I don't want the schools being lead on a dance here, but any alternative MUST be secure and watertight.

    Cheers.

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbudzi View Post
    any guidance appreciated ... I don't want the schools being lead on a dance here, but any alternative MUST be secure and watertight.

    Cheers.
    The problem you'll find is as with anything, the cost isn't "just" broadband. It's firewalls, logging, security, filtering, support etc etc.

    The list goes on, Just giving a school a broadband connection, they could sign that themselves.

    From my point of view, it's the "additional" services that make the cost what it is.

    Steve

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbudzi View Post
    Hi, not sure if this is the right website or forum to get information ... but here I am. I am not technical and will ask stupid questions!
    I AM technical and ask stupid questions.



    But, yeah... This is LGfL 2.0.

    It's not your region, but it should give you some sort of idea of what to look for.


    And this is their guide. [PDF]

    Which should give you some sort of idea about what pricing to expect.

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    Thanks Steve. Its that list of additions that I am after - not being in education I have no feel for it at all. What is currently provided to you?

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    X-13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbudzi View Post
    Its that list of additions that I am after - not being in education I have no feel for it at all. What is currently provided to you?
    Who, me?

    We're LGfL [1.0 or whatever it actually is] at the moment, but everything is up in the air... We're not 100% on what's going on.

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    Thanks X-13, this gives me a great starting point ... understand will come with time ... lets hope!

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We're certainly happy to help here!

    I look after a few primary schools and am involved with a fair few more regarding broadband provision, making sure they need what they get, get what they need etc. For someone outside of education (and unfortunately a few inside!) it will look outrageous, but as has already been said, this is for good reason. That reason can be marked under the umbrella term "E-Safety" very easily. Making sure email, websites and what not is all properly filtered to a high standard is not a cheap process. Plus of course, broadband provision itself which doesn't include the esafety side of things isn't cheap because for schools it needs to be what's called uncontended - this means they don't have to share it with everyone else in their local area. A home user will normally share their broadband (the hardware at the local telephony exchange) with 50 other users, so at peak times it will be slower. Schools rely so much on the Internet that this isn't plausable. Also it does add a little more security as well.

    Pricing will also vary depending on what technology is available; for instance connecting some rural areas can be hugely expensive *and* slow if the local exchange doesn't have technology like "Fibre to the Cabinet" which just means the general community has better, faster access. These prices vary from area to area massively.

    The sharing of broadband for small rural communities has come up a few times for some of the schools I helped out with in the past, and due to the slow speed the school could get on their normal connection it wouldn't have been feasible to share that, at least during the day. To get speeds that would at least be usable (for instance 10Mbit) they would have had to pay to have special lines laid; something BT couldn't afford/wouldn't do.

    Do you know what sort of speed EMBC where offering? Bear in mind they won't exist, so to speak, as from the end of October this year. However this may help you; basically, their owners Capita are splitting the services, so Capita do the filtering (which would be needed for the school) and a company called Kingston Communications deal with the actual broadband provision. It could be worth speaking to Kcom to ask if they can help with this too.

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    As others have said, the reason for the expense is all the security, not just having the line itself.
    Here we have E2BN provide our Internet. They use Protex filtering so that the children cannot access inappropriate things, and allow several different settings for filtering based on the age of the children - there is a separate one for staff which is less filtered, but still mostly safe if used sensibly.

    This webpage has two documents you might be interested in, written for the "non technical" audience The Way your School Uses Broadband is different - E2BN

    A quick bit about their web filtering Web Filtering and Caching - Protex - E2BN

    And some more genera info on them Network and Services - E2BN

    Some info on the "Law of ICT Negligence"
    The key bits are at the bottom, where it points out that the parent of a child who access inappropriate material online at school due to no filtering being in place can sue the class teacher AND the school itself for not having such security in place.
    ICT Negligence in Education - an introduction (UK Law)

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    A quick note ... Embc *will* exist after October ... emPSN might be the new label but the branding is still there for schools. It is just how schools interact with it will be different. I'll try to put up a longer post tomorrow to explain about managed networks a bit more.

    The management is also a key aspect here linked in with the resilient structure of the network.

    If you let me know which region you are in I can point you to the relevant people as there are differences between the LAs/areas in the East Midlands.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Sorry my apologies on that (EMBC) - I tend to get words mixed up when trying to keep things simple

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    OT

    it points out that the parent of a child who access inappropriate material online at school due to no filtering being in place can sue the class teacher AND the school itself for not having such security in place.
    Anyone can sue anyone over anything nowasdays but it doesn't make it right

    That article you've linked to is possibly the worst piece of scaremongering I've seen in a long long time and I'm very suprised that its been published

    Si

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    Even with filtering... teachers and IT staff need to be vigilent - it doesn't matter who provides the filtering, they will never be fully accountable if some kids find a way around something.

    You could get EFM very cheaply these days, get quad bonded and you will be hitting some fairly good speeds both ways. Firewall, filtering and logging... well, all firewalls log... and i can't imagine many filtering appliances not logging.

    Forgot to add support... any VAR will have some support, let alone most products coming with technical support anyway. Perhaps not going through a solutions provider gives a little more slack too...

    I'm not stating anyone product/solution is better than any but certainly many ways to skin this cat... in the current situation with funding you should all be looking around, not jumping onto the first, easiest product you see!
    Last edited by dwhyte85; 30th March 2012 at 09:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    OT



    Anyone can sue anyone over anything nowasdays but it doesn't make it right

    That article you've linked to is possibly the worst piece of scaremongering I've seen in a long long time and I'm very suprised that its been published

    Si
    It isn't scaremongering, it is the professional dissection by an experienced and qualified legal expert who is trying to advise schools of their obligations and how to deal with risk. Say what you want about the law ... if it is there and has to be followed then you either work to change it (if it isn't suitable) or you get on with it!

    I find it disappointing that anyone would fail to see that.

    If people can't see the possible harm that can come to children, in particular vulnerable children, due to problems with filtering and inappropriate security then those articles are the perfect thing for you to read through and look at.

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    As usual - we disagree


    It is scaremongering and using a very large sledgehammer (e.g threat of being sued ) if you don't use every and any available device to "protect" children.

    I have children - I don't use every and any device to protect them from physical and online threats and I don't expect society to go to extreme lengths either.

    For evil (replace with cotton-wool kiddy culture) to suceed all it takes is for good people to say nothing!

    This article was written by a commercial supplier who is in the internet filtering business nuff said!

    Si

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I truly think you have missed the point with this ... the whole thing about the chance of being sued is not the point .. the risk of harm to children is! The fact that it is coming from a commercial supplier is neither here nor there ... having heard the same things coming from the mouths of police, child protection officers, folk involved in serious case reviews ... so the fact that it is also coming from a supplier who have asked a legal expert to check over who they work and you are questioning that expert?

    What you do for your own children is up to you I suppose ... the risks you take and how you manage them being online ... what a school has to do to deal with the requirement for all the children in their care is another matter. If you don't understand that the reason the laws are put in place is for protection *and* frequently because things have gone wrong previously ... then fine. Stick your fingers in your ears and go "lalalalalalalala!" and let the rest of us deal with the real world.

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