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General Chat Thread, broadband service for school. in General; Crikey, that's moved on a bit since I last looked. When I've managed to finish the long list of projects ...
  1. #16
    Heebeejeebee's Avatar
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    Re: broadband service for school.

    Crikey, that's moved on a bit since I last looked.

    When I've managed to finish the long list of projects that I've had lined up for me I'll have to take a closer look.

    Cheers

    HBJB

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    Quote Originally Posted by koffers
    The best thing about the BGFL is the cost, a little over £2000 a year for a 10MB line.
    We don't pay a fee for it, it comes with the SLA which costs £30/machine. Which is annoying as I cant get proper figures of how much it costs. I'm trying to get a green light on an ADSL line for the server as the filter wont allow me to run windows update via the RBC line.

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    Re: broadband service for school.


    BGfL currently do not provide a delegated filtering service, though one is currently being tested. They are also working towards Becta accreditation which specifies a 4 hour turn aroung for filtering requests.

    .
    I thought the the RBC can only deliver services if they are accredited by Becta as they usually cover a lot of areas/schools.

    Great another inconsistency with RBCs and it seems different RBCs do things differently - there doesn't seems to be one consistent process.

    BTW, 10mb for £2000 is not bad for a leased line.

    Ash.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    The RBCs were all set up slightly differently ...

    Some had to use different technology due to the locations of the end user (the schools), some had different systems for fitlering anc caching, some tool a relaxed approach and let you do as much in-house as you wanted and some took a strict line and told you that you have to do things a certain way ...

    And then they had to hook into the NEN ...

    Now we are left with a multitude of different MANs that essentially do what they were asked ... some have areas of excellence ... and then areas the are *very* bad ...

    There is no way that all systems can be changed now to a single solution but the standards being pushed out (By Becta) are there to try and level the playing field slightly ...

    £2000 is a darn good price for 10 Meg ...

    Some RBCs are now pushing to split the costs of connection, services and content ... so that it is a lot clearer what you are paying for. For those schools with their own hosting and email there is little point in paying for it with the RBC ... but we will see how things go shortly.

    As for accreditation ... there are strict rules on filtering ... very strict. *ALL* RBCs should have a level of accreditation already otherwise they cannot officially call themselves an RBC IIRC.

    The other issue you may have is that although you may not want to use your RBC and you choose to go with an accredited ISP you will not be able to join the NEN at this point ... meaning you loose access to a number of things, including the JANET Vid Conf system.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    The other issue you may have is that although you may not want to use your RBC and you choose to go with an accredited ISP you will not be able to join the NEN at this point ... meaning you loose access to a number of things, including the JANET Vid Conf system.
    We are trying to sort this out with UKERNA at the moment so essentially bypassing the RBC layer as JANET /NEN is managed by UKERNA.

    What you have to remember is that some counties have opted not to be with any RBCs at all so they will need some sort of entry into the NEN. I can't remember where on the Becta's website i saw a list of counties that are not with an RBC.

    Ash.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    The BGfL is pretty cheap for a 10MB line - but what you have to remember is that you are not getting a 10MB internet connection - you are getting a 10MB connection to your local node point which is shared by many schools, libraries etc.

    This node site is then connected to the central point where it meets up with all the other schools, libraries etc. in Birmingham with one connection point to the internet which is nowhere near big enough to guarantee every school getting 10Mb - although I am sure that the connection they do have is rearely maxed out!!

    Do not get me wrong - it is still ample for any schools needs and very good value for money, but you cannot compare it like for like with a 10Mb broadband internet connection. There are also many other restrictions such as filtering being mandatory and the same for primary schools as it is for colleges and staff.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    Quote Originally Posted by ashok
    We are trying to sort this out with UKERNA at the moment so essentially bypassing the RBC layer as JANET /NEN is managed by UKERNA.

    What you have to remember is that some counties have opted not to be with any RBCs at all so they will need some sort of entry into the NEN. I can't remember where on the Becta's website i saw a list of counties that are not with an RBC.

    Ash.
    I'd be interested to hear how you get on - as we are looking to do this shortly.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    I believe that I am the only primary school in Torbay, Devon not on the SWGFL, this is through choice and my extensive experience of working in education, mainly in secondary in various role in educational ICT.

    I chose to not use the SWGFL for a number of reasons and experiences that I have had using it and non-SWGFL ISPs.

    Cost - the SWGFL is EXPENSIVE for what you get
    Reliability - over the years that I used it I found it to be unreliable
    Port assignment and filtering - Paper chase to get any ports open and filtering is a pain.
    RM Cheesy-Mail (oh sorry....... Easy Mail) - Not good.
    Virus infection - approx 4 years ago whole of SWGFL was hit by blaster.

    I have an 8MB ADSL Business connection with Eclipse that costs £54 a month with hosting, for filering I have a RM Smart Cache II box with RM Safety-Net (which I must say I find to be very good - despite what others are saying on this forum), this also runs Espresso.

    Downside of not using SWGFL if anyone is interested:

    Cannot access parts of the Torbay Portal (no loss there then!)
    ScoMIS cannot provide remote support.
    Attix Backup problem (ScoMIS looking into as I write this).

    Upside:

    Total Firewall control - have been able to set up VPN, Moodle, FTP etc etc with no fuss.
    Fast, reliable connection.
    Decent webmail and POP3 access.
    Total filtering control.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    I had similar discussions with our LA not too long back and with another school that had left the RBC provision. Their reason for doing so was because of unreliability and speed of connection. This was in the days of the 2Mb connection.

    As Limbo says the connections are routed to you via different add on connections such as libraries and other schools ( I have two other secondary schools hanging off my 10Mb connection). Personally I had issues with the 2Mb connection but since the changeover to the 10Mb I have had no real issues concerning downtime and connectivity speeds.

    That said we are having a new school built at present under PFI and the LA have indicated that they are feeding in a 100Mb direct connection to the school (All Secondary schools in Oldham in fact) so I would imagine the connection will be somewhat enhanced by that. The idea of course in the long run is to establish a better collaborative learning setup as the VC took up huge amounts of bandwidth on a 10Mb connection and was totally unusable. Here's to blue skies!!

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