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General Chat Thread, "if you can't work with them, work round them" in General; I take it by what everyone here has said that they feel they are being ripped off by their LEA. ...
  1. #31

    bossman's Avatar
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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    I take it by what everyone here has said that they feel they are being ripped off by their LEA. Well by the looks of it you are, we have a 100Mb connection which costs us, wait for it! 8k a year and i am looking at negotiating an even better deal now that we have become a major node to the town nearby.
    We supply 6 feeder schools through wireless all get 2-8Mb depending on range and this suits them down to the ground as they only pay minimal costs.
    I think that your LEAs should be working harder for you in gaining a colaborative aproach to a major ISP and negotiating a better deal all round.
    P.S plexer sorry bud you really seem to be getting a raw deal.

  2. #32

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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    The main issue with RBC connections it the contention ratio. They provide all their schools with a 10mb link but (hitting or exceeding those all important government targets) then squash you all up a 100mb pipe. That is why a good 2mb 2 to 1 contended connection will p&@s an RBC link out of the water.

  3. #33

    bossman's Avatar
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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    djm968; sorry you feel this way, but i would like to clarify our position with our connection. We don't have a 10Mb feed stuffed into a 100Mb pipe with everyone elses, it is 100Mb direct fibre in to our school of this, we don't have any contention.
    What we do have is 5 Primary's also feeding off their own 10Mb links which also come in via a seperate 100Mb fibre conection to our school which is then split via seperate wireless links to their schools.
    We just allow the ISP to have a major node connection point (large tardis type unit) installed on our property. All major BT fibre is connected there and we have our own 100Mb fibre link to and from this unit. I was just offering my sympathy to all those schools out there that don't have the same connections. As for a "good 2mb 2 to 1 contended connection will p&@s an RBC link out of the water" I wouldn't know as I havn't experienced a good 2Mb 2 2 1 contended connection and i would think the price might enter in to it, that is why some LEAs decide to do what they do.

  4. #34
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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    Just on the point of the amount of input I got from our RBC... well let's put it this way.

    I wanted to arrange remote access so I could handle standard admin stuff that take 5 minutes and don't require someone on site. So I emailed them and phoned them a sum total of 15 times over the period of 2 months and not once did I get a response or someone willing to talk to me about it.. Not even a "we can't do that".. Just a whopping big brick wall that hoped I'd go away.

    So, when I wrote a position paper explaining how the school could realistically pay £4k in one year for a router, support and a bonded ADSL line it got a few people in a flap and from what I gather others in North Yorks kicked off about the lack of remote access too. Since then I've found that it's possible to get a business line without going bonded line and it's £3k cheaper. Granted without the tech support thrown in but £3k in a year buys you a managed service and then some... A service that sodding listens to you!


    At present I think I'm at the point where it makes sense to go with an unmanaged single ADSL line from Nildram as a failover for a year and to tell the RBC to go jump until they can provide the same sort of reliability an ADSL line can. Sure we're stuck with their thin client stuff for now but as the head has pointed out, they can always go back to workstations again and that apparently would upset the LEA.

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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    You are one of the lucky ones Bossman and probably almost unique. All of the schools I work for (except the private ones) are unhappy with the RBC connections and they are spread across 5 different counties. That must say something!

  6. #36

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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    @contink: That sounds so familiar from when I was in that situation, we asked for that and various other things and nothing ever happened. I don't know how they are gettin on now as I am no longer there, but I know a local place I have done some work for (primary school) doesn't use the RBC as its deemed by the school and governors to be far too expensive for a small (read small as less than 50 pupils) school to afford for the year. Until RBC / LEA listen and realise that charging say £4K for a connection + £10 per head (or what ever the figures were for this year) that is a huuuuuge amount of money for small schools in parts of the country, and they are not going to win. It is also the same problem with huuuuuge schools with thousands of students, RBCs have to listen to the schools at the end of the day the customer is right.

  7. #37

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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    I must agree with Bossman; compared to the stories we hear about other RBCs, DurhamNET is a breath of fresh air. Fairly quick to respond to problems and don't mind opening a few ports as and when required.

  8. #38
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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    God........this post has answered so many questions for me. I am glad we are not the only ones feeling the frustration of the LEA broadband.

  9. #39

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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    As our main use of the county vpn is Internet access and a bit of video conferencing now and then going outside of the LEA shouldn't cause us any problems at all.

    Our main problem is our rural location so unless I can find a date for anyone unbundling the exchange we are going to be stuck on a BT copper line and adsl as our alternative but that would be better than what we get now.

    I've looked at bonding solutions in the past and that is a possibility but with ADSL up to 8mbit on a single line now that may be all we need or have 2 bonded for 16mbit.

    Would certainly be a lot cheaper than the 20K we currently pay anyway.

    Ben

  10. #40
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    Re: "if you can't work with them, work round them"

    £20k!!!?

    I really need to look into how much this is costing us, because I always get fobbed off, or people don't know, or they think that it's free.

  11. #41

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    I'd love to have our own here, but for various reasons, we cant. .
    I do know of schools that have done it though.

  12. #42

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    The last couple of big virus outbreaks in our RBC area were caused by schools having secondary connection IIRC. Please be aware that whilst you may know (or think you know) what you are doing many smaller schools won't and this is where the problem lies. A poorly administered and set up external links can bring down an RBC and legally you will be in deep, deep doo-doo. Admittedly things are different within CLEO, but the end result is the same.

  13. #43

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    It is exactly the same in EMBC. No second line can be connected to an EMBC connected network.

    There are a couple of possible scenarios about using a second line as a fail-over but you cannot have both connected at the same time.

  14. #44

    Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    The last couple of big virus outbreaks in our RBC area were caused by schools having secondary connection IIRC. Please be aware that whilst you may know (or think you know) what you are doing many smaller schools won't and this is where the problem lies. A poorly administered and set up external links can bring down an RBC and legally you will be in deep, deep doo-doo. Admittedly things are different within CLEO, but the end result is the same.
    Does this advice also apply to WiFi Access Points? Or Mobile phones? And what about pupils/teachers personal laptops? Or usb storage devices?

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Does this advice also apply to WiFi Access Points? Or Mobile phones? And what about pupils/teachers personal laptops? Or usb storage devices?
    Depends entirely on the LEA.
    I know ours dont like WiFi on school networks unless its at least WPA2.
    BUT, they say that they cant actually stop a school from using WEP, or even no security on it.

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