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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Changing broadband services in Technical; Hi folks, I've occasionally lurked this site on and off, but this is the first time I've really needed to ...
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    Question Changing broadband services

    Hi folks, I've occasionally lurked this site on and off, but this is the first time I've really needed to ask anything myself, so I hope this is in the right place and I'm not offending anyone by replicating a thread that may be just over the page...

    Situation:

    My Network Manager is leaving and I'm stepping up into the role having spent years as an ordinary tech in a 2 man department.
    The main problem is that our Internet contract is up in March and we *need* to move away because the service is shockingly bad. I've never had to do this sort of thing before so I'm feeling just a tad bewildered.

    I wanted to ask if there a standard procedure for moving away from one broadband service to another? What sorts of things do I need to do (move domains over, open ports etc) and what can I expect?

    Any suggestions, links or just general hand holding anyone could give me would be *really* appreciated!

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    What are broadband services like locally? Are you in a town or city? Or are you out in the sticks?

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    There are plenty of options around; I'm in Walsall in the West Midlands!

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    Okay, I'm guessing I've posted this in the wrong thread! (Sorry folks!!)

    I'm reminded of this relevant xkcd: xkcd: Wisdom of the Ancients

    So, to avoid the above xkcd, here's my own noddy "I'm changing broadband" checklist, with baby-esque explanations which seems to sum up what I've found out so far:

    When buying new broadband we need to consider:

    • Firewall (CISCO is mentioned a lot here, expensive but reliable)
    • Router hardware (CISCO is mentioned a lot here, expensive but reliable)
    • Internet Filtering (e.g. Smoothwall, Bloxx, Lightspeed)
    This can come from a different company and certain suppliers will focus only on providing broadband only, so you may well end up with different company anyway.
    • SLA (How long they will take to fix it if there is a problem)
    • Backup lines to take over incase a tractor runs over your fibre line (ADSL or FTTC – these usually have no SLA/fix time)
    • Your “Front-facing” IP addresses :
    The IP addresses you have on display on the actual web so that they can see you; the important ones are email (especially if you host it yourself) and websites.
    RIPE provide the IP addresses for the UK and being as all the IPv4 addresses have run out, they will argue if you are using anything unnecessary. The only thing you need are addresses that use the same port, such as two websites (so mysite.co.uk and youremailwebclient.mysite.co.uk for instance). Everything else they might argue that you (or your provider) uses NAT to get around the problem.
    How long it will take to do the install (the lead-time). - This is a biggie!! If you don't get it booked in in time then you could find yourself without an Internet connection (or being forced to renew a crappy service!).
    For instance, our current Broadband contract ends in March (it currently being November); most suppliers say it will take 90 days just to install the Fibre. Then you have to factor in Christmas holidays and it being a busy time of year – we were told to get it sorted *now*.

    Updated for the sake of it
    Last edited by Asreal; 22nd October 2013 at 07:21 PM.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    You're right, you really are in the wrong forum! Moving now.

  6. Thanks to Dos_Box from:

    Asreal (22nd October 2013)

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    mrbios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Asreal View Post
    Okay, I'm guessing I've posted this in the wrong thread! (Sorry folks!!)

    I'm reminded of this relevant xkcd: xkcd: Wisdom of the Ancients

    So, to avoid the above xkcd, here's my own noddy "I'm changing broadband" checklist, with baby-esque explanations which seems to sum up what I've found out so far:

    When buying new broadband we need to consider:

    • Firewall (CISCO is mentioned a lot here, expensive but reliable)
    • Router hardware (CISCO is mentioned a lot here, expensive but reliable)
    • Internet Filtering (e.g. Smoothwall, Bloxx, Lightspeed)
    This can come from a different company and certain suppliers will focus only on providing broadband only, so you may well end up with different company anyway.
    • SLA (How long they will take to fix it if there is a problem)
    • Backup lines to take over incase a tractor runs over your fibre line (ADSL or FTTC – these usually have no SLA/fix time)
    • Your “Front-facing” IP addresses :
    The IP addresses you have on display on the actual web so that they can see you; the important ones are email (especially if you host it yourself) and websites.
    RIPE provide the IP addresses for the UK and being as all the IPv4 addresses have run out, they will argue if you are using anything unnecessary. The only thing you need are addresses that use the same port, such as two websites (so mysite.co.uk and youremailwebclient.mysite.co.uk for instance). Everything else they might argue that you (or your provider) uses NAT to get around the problem.
    How long it will take to do the install (the lead-time). - This is a biggie!! If you don't get it booked in in time then you could find yourself without an Internet connection (or being forced to renew a crappy service!).
    For instance, our current Broadband contract ends in March (it currently being November); most suppliers say it will take 90 days just to install the Fibre. Then you have to factor in Christmas holidays and it being a busy time of year – we were told to get it sorted *now*.

    Updated for the sake of it
    You can simplify things with @SchoolsBroadband when it comes to firewall/router hardware/filtering/good SLA (now that they've resolved their hosted teething issues) etc

    Hosted fortigate firewall + lightspeed filter, depending on your internal setup switching over can be easy as adding/editing a route and removing proxy settings for example. If you want to know more from a customer POV send me a PM, or pm them for some quotes/technical information. We switched to them in the summer.

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    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    You've not left yourselves a huge amount of time to find another provider. There is a lot to consider. Connectivity, filtering/monitoring, email, data between yourselves and your LEA, phones perhaps?

    It is easier to move to a provider who can offer a more complete package. If you end up looking at three companies for connectivity, three filtering products, three email etc. it's a big job.

    We've been through this in the last few months. We left ourselves around 9 months to look at all the options, but then again we did it for eight schools.

    We too are using Schools Broadband, but looked at a number of local providers. Happy to offer help where I can.

    Have you exhausted all options with your current provider? Do they know how fed up you are and how keen to jump ship?

    This document was created by a working party in Northamptonshire. It's an excellent starting point for schools thinking of moving provider. Not everything will apply, but it will probably highlight something you've not yet thought about! http://www.thedustonschool.org/sites...icesv1%200.pdf
    Last edited by IrritableTech; 22nd October 2013 at 08:15 PM.

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    You're telling me! We literally only have a week or two to sort it out (my first job as the NWM leaves - oh the joy!)

    I agree with you 100% about the complete package; it's my first time doing this and I'd like it as neat (and as quick) as possible.

    Email we host ourselves at least, so it is only the broadband and filtering we have to worry about...

    "but then again we did it for eight schools"

    ... my god! Why!?

    Schools Broadband seems popular so far (we've had a quote). Can I ask, which were the other contenders?

    RE Our other provider: Our current situation equates to too many schools all being on the same line (I think we're on a 1GB pipe when it should be 2GB?), our proxies having to be rebooted several times a day as we fight the other schools for the connection.

    This has being going on for months now and we don't seem to be getting anywhere - the contract is up so we're looking elsewhere! I think they've resigned themselves to the fact we're doing this...

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    kevin_lane's Avatar
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    Changing services can be tricky depending on time and location (whats in your area)

    You need to get an actual time scale so you reay need to know you have xzy of months

    You then need need to decided who to go with or at least who to approach DO have at least 4 including staying with lea (at least you can compare cost plus any new promises they are going to make)

    Once you have spoken to them and you know what type of speed and connection you want its down to cost now some people willa say have a backup line some wont for me we dont why because whats the point being on a slow line when you have over 300 people trying to access a 10meg line or whatever either way if its down people know its down

    In some circumstances it the it can take a good few months just to get a survey of your site (incase they are not allowed to use other people's equipment e.g bt etc) so they may need to run a cable so you need to know were the cable is coming in
    Are you going to bring equipment in or are you going to lease it dont forget you will have to configure it if you do it wrong on ur head

    Also external IP you need to know what services you want open to the world e.g http https dns smtp etc

    and best of all this info when your done needs to be DOCUMENTED

    any questions let me know
    Last edited by kevin_lane; 22nd October 2013 at 10:12 PM.

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    Firstly thanks @mrbios and @IrritableTech for mentioning us
    @Asreal see my inserts below in red

    if you've got any questions do send me a PM or give me a call on 0 11 33 222 333 as I'd be happy to help

    Thanks

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Asreal View Post
    Okay, I'm guessing I've posted this in the wrong thread! (Sorry folks!!)

    I'm reminded of this relevant xkcd: xkcd: Wisdom of the Ancients

    So, to avoid the above xkcd, here's my own noddy "I'm changing broadband" checklist, with baby-esque explanations which seems to sum up what I've found out so far:

    When buying new broadband we need to consider:

    • Firewall (CISCO is mentioned a lot here, expensive but reliable)Cisco is a good firewall but there are many other vendors in the market today which in my opinion offers many more features at a much better price. We use Fortinet. They are the worlds 2nd biggest UTM / Firewall vendor being Cisco turning over more than $1billion a year. Their virtualisation is great as well as reporting, layer 7 app control and the ease of use of the interface.
    • Router hardware (CISCO is mentioned a lot here, expensive but reliable) Again Cisco is good, but expensive. We don't use Cisco because we use VPLS in our service and to do that on a Cisco is stupidly expensive. So long as you have a router which can cope with the amount of data you require and you can get a next day swop out then that's fine. Don't feel as though you must go for Cisco. It's like choosing a PC saying you must got IBM, or a phone line provider saying you must use BT retail. People often say use the big names because they know that if something goes wrong they can say "ahhh but I used the biggest vendor so we can't have done anything wrong in procuring it."
    • Internet Filtering (e.g. Smoothwall, Bloxx, Lightspeed) All are good filters and you'd be happy with any of them. I don't know the price of Bloxx but Smoothwall and Lightspeed if you buy an onsite device + per user licenses are in my experience rather expensive. We have a rack in our data centre full of Lightspeed GIG Rocket servers which we virtualize (as we do our Fortinet firewalls too) so you have no upfront costs. We also have unlimited web filtering license costs, no per use licensing here meaning a much lower total cost of ownership over the 3 year term
    This can come from a different company and certain suppliers will focus only on providing broadband only, so you may well end up with different company anyway.
    • SLA (How long they will take to fix it if there is a problem) This depends on the carrier you use. BT I believe is a 4 hour response with 24 hour fix on all leased lines. When we've had to use them though and there has been an issue they jump on the problem immediately and the fault is often fixed in less than 4 hours. Please note that at the end of the day nearly all leased lines are either with BT or Virgin. All wholesale partners of them (us, our competitors etc) can only offer the same SLA as that offered to them by BT or Virgin. We find most LA's only fix leased lines during office hours, we and other commercial providers will do this 24x7x365 though
    • Backup lines to take over incase a tractor runs over your fibre line (ADSL or FTTC – these usually have no SLA/fix time) Backup is a good idea. Make sure you fully understand the ramifications though of when the backup line will work. e.g. what if you have a leased line and an ADSL backup but BT has a 21CN outage at the telephone exchange? Both could in theory go down.
    • Your “Front-facing” IP addresses :
    The IP addresses you have on display on the actual web so that they can see you; the important ones are email (especially if you host it yourself) and websites.
    RIPE provide the IP addresses for the UK and being as all the IPv4 addresses have run out, they will argue if you are using anything unnecessary. The only thing you need are addresses that use the same port, such as two websites (so mysite.co.uk and youremailwebclient.mysite.co.uk for instance). Everything else they might argue that you (or your provider) uses NAT to get around the problem. This definitely sounds like an LA has written it Although RIPE has in affect run out of IPv4 addresses, we and other ISP's still have plenty spare to use and give to our customers. As standard we give a block of 8 real world IP addresses to all Schools taking a leased line
    How long it will take to do the install (the lead-time). - This is a biggie!! If you don't get it booked in in time then you could find yourself without an Internet connection (or being forced to renew a crappy service!).
    For instance, our current Broadband contract ends in March (it currently being November); most suppliers say it will take 90 days just to install the Fibre. Then you have to factor in Christmas holidays and it being a busy time of year – we were told to get it sorted *now*. Yes, you really want to get cracking! If you already have fibre onsite though then its highly likely this will get installed in 65 working days or less. In certain circumstances we can pay BT extra to expedite the install and we've actually had a leased line in and working in 3 weeks before. We can only do this in exceptional circumstances though (being without any Internet access for 1000 pupils is one of them though!) We've also put in a temporary FTTC connection as well if BT or Virgin hasn't it there target dates and the old LA line becomes disconnected

    Updated for the sake of it

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    marsdenprimary's Avatar
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    We're moving and going with RM- they've offered some great prices so far with everything you need bundled in. Give them a call- they've been very good so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marsdenprimary View Post
    We're moving and going with RM- they've offered some great prices so far with everything you need bundled in. Give them a call- they've been very good so far.
    Until after-sales.

    We are with RM as an ISP, leased line. Looking at moving away next year, it's terrible and their ISP support are near impossible to contact. When it goes down they don't tell us why, and seem to make things up.

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