SimpleSi (17th May 2008)
We use CLEO here for our internet access, and I'm sure most of you use whatever ISP your county provides.
However, I'm not all that happy with CLEO and I'm thinking of shopping around for a proper commercial ISP.
Has anyone done this? How has it gone? Are there any pitfalls I should consider? (Like any kind of access that can only be done through CLEO sites or proxies? email addresses? or whatever else?)
I would appreciate any edu-geeky thoughts on the subject.
Thanks guys (and gals).
SimpleSi (17th May 2008)
Why aren't you happy with CLEO?
We've had no problems with CLEO at all. Problems tend to get sorted quickly and the speed and reliability is great.
You're very secure within the CLEO network; are you sure you're ready to take on the 'outside' world?
What seems to be the problem? I sit on a LOT of CLEO meetings and try to represent your views (school network managers) to higher levels. Is the issue with CLEO or with LGfL (Lancashire Grid for Learning)? As we already have a raft of solutions in place to enable external access, remote access and other facilities, all free of charge.
Another happy with CLEO here! Especially having seen the problems people seem to have with other RBCs!
Indeed. CLEO is often leaps and bounds ahead of the other RBCs, often by the pure dint that we own our network!
100Mbps to the school anyone?
Also, another happy CLEO user here!
Will chip in and say I wish I had CLEO from talking to Dos_Box it sound heaven the fact they get all this money from Gordon for all this stuff and use it themselves to make the solution rather than the North Yorks idea of spend it on someone else doing the work for them.
Didn't you try to use the internet in April then?We've had no problems with CLEO at all
As usual although DB is our leader and pretends to be on our side, he needs to get out of his office more and bring his network speed reader to the majority of schools in Lancs where he'll find statements like this don't bear fruitIndeed. CLEO is often leaps and bounds ahead of the other RBCs, often by the pure dint that we own our network!
100Mbps to the school anyone?
(athough I've heard in mythical places beyond the rainbow that some schools do have this - of course if your poxy server doesn't let you download more that 100 kbs/sec its a bit of a mute point whether you have 100 or 1.7MBs pipe :P)
To be balanced - CLEO tries - they just don't communicate properly- we have no SLAs - our internet is single ended at point of delivery which is just b&*&%ks in this day and age, we are treated like mushrooms by our so called "help" desk........ [/rant]
Don't get me started!
Surely DB will be willing to send one of his slaves out to your site to look into it as I don't believe they are that bad they sound like a listening bunch who want to fix these things
Sorry - have you actually read the T&Cs - you have to sacrifice your mother before they'll let you have accessAs we already have a raft of solutions in place to enable external access, remote access and other facilities, all free of charge.
And you didn't mention that some of the rafts only went into production last week :P
I know nothing about the cleo service so will not comment on that but please remember the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Generally speaking RBCs will be cheaper and provide other services that commercial organisations will charge a lot for.
Mixed views here. We have asked for remote access twice, once for exchange (dec06) and again for RM easylink (few months ago). The exchange request was a little nightmare and really did hold up the installation of our exchange server until CLEO got their backside into gear and actually communicated with our RM engineer properly to deal with it.
For the past month, our internet has been VERY UNSTABLE (up, down, slow, painfully slow, down, down... (few days downtime later..... back, but SLOW), up again... you get the idea). Apparently, the receiver on our school which receives the signal was faulty and needed replacing, so we were told it would take 3-5days for someone to come; meanwhile, they couldn't guarantee our access.
The day they were due, we got a call from CLEO, saying they managed to fix it just by changing a few things remotely (it was an interference problem); one would have thought a simple fix could have been investigated weeks earlier. Maybe this isn't the best time to express my views, given the small nightmare recently, but there you go.
On the up side, when there is a problem, they are reasonably fast to communicate, and usually endeavour to rectify whatever problem we have, whether that be fault of our own or CLEO. Before this episode and likely hereafter, we achieve reasonable stability and speed always seems to be reasonable as well. I've noticed there is some new filtering in place as of last Monday just gone, so we'll see how that works out
Also the biggest single issue you are going to face moving away from rbc is following.
You couldn't legally move away from an rbc to another isp and have service that is 'down graded' which means that need to be on nen and guess what only rbcs are on the nen.
Can be very blunt technically moving away is very easy politically it is not and that means head needs to know facts not just technical as he/she will take the flack.
If you are looking to move away from an RBC there are, as Russ has mentioned, a number of things to take into account that your Head will have to justify, not you ... not because some teachers wants to (who may want to move away because they know best) ... your Head.
Firstly, is your web access filtered to a significantly secure level? Are the filters accredited by Becta or the Internet Watch Foundation?
Secondly, do you have sufficient edge security? Your own firewall? Do you operate on a 'block all and allow needed' policy on ports?
Thirdly, is your mail filtered for spam, abusive content, bullying, grooming, etc?
Fourthly, do you know what resources you will no longer have access to? Those provided by your LA / RBC / NEN? Do you have suitable alternatives in mind so that the teachers / students do no lose out?
Finally, have you and your Head made representation to your LA / RBC about the poor quality of service? Has there been due process to resolve this situation and you are now moving because you cannot take things any further forward?
If the answer to *all* of the above is yes ... then you could move to NTL, Redstone or BT. All of these do decent business packages that come out at reasonable prices for what is effectively a raw pipe. Beware of contention and make sure you get a good look at the SLAs before you sign on the dotted line. Also be aware that some LAs top slice the connectivity funding so you may have to cough up for it out of the school's pocket.
I am not trying to put you off ... just help you realise why RBCs exist in the first place ... as frustrating as they can be.
Also be aware that if you have a second line (2 meg adsl or similar) as a backup in case of problems with your RBC, some RBCs will not allow this to be connected at the same time as the RBC connection (security breach allowing for routing of internet traffic into the RBC via an unprotected connection.) Please check with your RBC about that.
On the RBC side of things, i do think they try to provide the best access they can and its not always possible to please everybody. They have to take a lot of things into consideration and sometime the flexibility that we all want may not be possible becuase of various reasons, one of the big one is security.
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