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General Chat Thread, broadband service for school. in General; Hi we are looking at getting rid of our internet service provider which is currently provided by the local authority ...
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    ranj's Avatar
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    broadband service for school.

    Hi we are looking at getting rid of our internet service provider which is currently provided by the local authority (birmingham grid) and want to get our own internet connection because we are unhappy with there service and over zeoulous filtering which prevents our teachers from conducting some of there lessons.

    so I am loooking at various broadband options. business lines which can work together with our existing poor provider or even two lines, one for the pupils and one for the teaching staff.

    This is how silly the filtering is, virgintrains.co.uk is blocked. just because it has virgin in there. The grid have told us they were cannot have the filtering as it was before. A month ago it was fine.

    Has anyone moved away from the authority and got in there own internet. if so any problems, have there been any problems.

    We currently pay a couple of thounsand for it at the moment. I have been looking at 2mb leased lines but they seem to be too expensive. What we need our interet for is VPN, web server and staff using the internet via separate proxy.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    We used the BGfL for internet, but virgintrains.co.uk isn't blocked?

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    ranj's Avatar
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    Re: broadband service for school.

    not now because i put it in the allowed list. so it will work for all schools. if you go to your sina admin and put a site in the allowed list it takes up to 24 hours to allow a site.

    clearly that cant be acceptable when teaching are planning a lesson at home on there home connections only to find when they come to school. the site is blocked.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    Agreed. The net would be fine if the effect of the school blocked/allowed list was instant. Instead, they insist on checking each and every entry. It gets on my nerves as well.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    To be honest, that's the most common complaint I hear (length of time it takes to block/unblock) and one of the reasons we have a good number of SmoothWall users amongst schools who've broken from the local GFL.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    Quote Originally Posted by ranj
    Hi we are looking at getting rid of our internet service provider which is currently provided by the local authority (birmingham grid) and want to get our own internet connection because we are unhappy with there service and over zeoulous filtering which prevents our teachers from conducting some of there lessons.

    so I am loooking at various broadband options. business lines which can work together with our existing poor provider or even two lines, one for the pupils and one for the teaching staff.

    This is how silly the filtering is, virgintrains.co.uk is blocked. just because it has virgin in there. The grid have told us they were cannot have the filtering as it was before. A month ago it was fine.

    Has anyone moved away from the authority and got in there own internet. if so any problems, have there been any problems.

    We currently pay a couple of thounsand for it at the moment. I have been looking at 2mb leased lines but they seem to be too expensive. What we need our interet for is VPN, web server and staff using the internet via separate proxy.
    You must ask the BGFL to hand over control of the filtering to you.. this is what happens with the LGFL...

    Its a simple web interface and you can block or unblock what ever you want

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    Looks like we are going to be looking to move away from BGFL soon too. The faults and niggly problems are getting on everyone's nerves.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grommit
    You must ask the BGFL to hand over control of the filtering to you.. this is what happens with the LGFL...
    Aren't you in Scotland? I don't know LGfL reach went that far.

    Actually the infrastrure is built by THUS which is an offshoot of Scottish Power so who knows...

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton
    To be honest, that's the most common complaint I hear (length of time it takes to block/unblock) and one of the reasons we have a good number of SmoothWall users amongst schools who've broken from the local GFL.
    Actually ... we are a smoothwall customer and we are moving to our RBC.

    It has taken some negotiation and once it is all done (and yes ... I have been saying this for nearly a year, but we are almost there) there will be a short paper outlining the good and bad points of moving and the process.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    If you are using SINA to manage URLs then you are a BGfL Plus full proxy school and you filtering is provided by Plus (ie Netmedia/My Schools Internet) and managed by YOU and NOT the BGfL. The change in filtering occurred because Netmedia upgraded their filtering from V3 to V4.1.

    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.

    Filtering can be a matter of contention as it ALWAYS has to err on the side of caution, but is necessary for reasons of child protection. Moving to another provider has significant ramifications in terms of cost (Birmingham schools are currently provided with 10Meg leased lines), meeting DfES/Becta requirements for broadband and MIS services. It is a decision that cannot be undertaken lightly and must be made by the school's senior management team once they have been fully appraised of all the facts.

    May I suggest that you, or your Head Teacher, contact the BGfL Network Services team to discuss your specific issues.

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    The best thing about the BGFL is the cost, a little over £2000 a year for a 10MB line.

    They offer a very good VPN soultion which works nicely with RPD.

    The filters are a little bit of a pain but it makes life easy as you don't have to worry about child protection.

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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.
    Could you elaborate a bit on that please? Are you a city-based school, how many pupils and is that symmetric?

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    I'm in the process of doing the same as you but for a primary school and we're going with Nildram and I'm planning on doing a lot of testing of potential content filtering packages (custom Smoothwall, School Guardian, etc..)

    Nildrams business packages with 8mb down, 800kb+ up are a good option that I was only recently made aware of though..

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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.

    They offer a very good VPN solution which works nicely with RPD.

    The filters are a little bit of a pain but it makes life easy as you don't have to worry about child protection.
    Eh?

    The SWGfL charge us over £4500 for 8MB. We think it's a right swizz and I hope to convince our SMT to ditch them in favour of someone else - but who? (Plus the head has just decided that in the absence of a ringfenced ICTiS pot it's going to come out of my already meagre budget which is now in deficit as a result!)

    We don't use many of the services that require us to have a SWGfL external IP Address and I believe that a lot of these will allow other providers to connect so long as they know that the IP is coming from a school.

    I've only dabbled with Smoothwall (a couple of years back) so I'll have to look into that again. Does it do filtering now? I don't recall seeing that in the last version I played with.

    I really would like to ditch RMs SmartCache2 box as well ‘cos it's crap. It the only piece or RM kit in our school (except for a couple of "Tesco PCs"). The only reason we keep it is because of the filtering and reporting tools.

    Cheers

    HBJB

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    Re: broadband service for school.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heebeejeebee
    I've only dabbled with Smoothwall (a couple of years back) so I'll have to look into that again. Does it do filtering now? I don't recall seeing that in the last version I played with.
    Check the community forums and particularly the "Homebrew" section.. There's an extended defence version which includes a LOT of mods including dans guardian, AD integration and a whole lot more.

    Only thing is that it's a lot to take in and I'm facing the required learning curve at the moment. Not sure how it's going to work out tbh.

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