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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, What should Broadband Cost in Technical; ...
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    What should Broadband Cost

    Hi there,

    I am a governor at a Primary School in Leicestershire. I run my own consulting business so know about IT in the commercial space but not in Education.

    I recently joined the Finance Committee - we are being quoted £4000 to provide broadband for our 140 child Primary School by the County Council for 6 months.
    1. It strikes me as a huge figure - am I right in thinking that it is a lot?
    2. What do I need to consider if going for my own ISP


    Many thanks

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Take a look at what RM are charging: RM - Internet connections

    I am not recommending RM, simply giving you a starting block. I consider them expensive for what you get.

    You have to remember that you are not just payingfor the boardband line from the LA. It will include filtering and possibly other services. It is rarely a school-size charge and is usally based on the line speed/bandwidth.

    Having said that, RM does look cheaper than your LA!

    BTW - when looking for your own costs - it's all about coping with an entire class doing heavy downloads simultaneously and about school-appropriate filtering. If the filtering doesn't come with the line, you will need to buy in the kit, software and service, e.g. Smoothwall.

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    LeicestershirePrimary (7th October 2010)

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    At the risk of sounding as if I am defending RBCs all too often ... the RM offerings where you can see the prices are for ADSL related products. Majority of schools in EMBC are on leased line connections. An ADSL line for a school making use of a hosted VLE or online services from Google or Microsoft will be very difficult. I keep talking about like for like ... and there is a big difference on a contended ADSL line than an RBC leased line. If you want a cost for an equivalent from RM you have to contact them (they are prompt to respond but the cost is based on your school, not a generic price).

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    LeicestershirePrimary (7th October 2010)

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    Broadband

    Yes that seems a lot !!!

    Broadband services sometimes depend on how far you are from the nearest exchange so if you are out in the sticks it might be the reason.
    If you PM me the school telephone number I can use it to check how far your exchange is and what broadband services would be available through your existing lines...
    You could then approach a supplier of broadband for a price. Most business/education suppliers work on an unlimited download type service and some give you a discount for non use overnight ...
    All this is assuming its not somebody like virgin who have thier own lines!!
    Filtering can be done using Dansgardian ..... Theres lots of schools using it !!!
    Cheers
    Brian Rumsey
    Courthill School

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    LeicestershirePrimary (7th October 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeicestershirePrimary View Post
    we are being quoted £4000 to provide broadband for our 140 child Primary School by the County Council for 6 months.
    You can get an uncontended ADSL line for around £50 a month, which seems like a good half-way point between a crummy home-style ADSL connection and a leased line. You'll need filtering - something like Smoothwall will cost a couple of thousand pounds to set up and maybe £1,000 a year to maintain (double-check those figures, they are somewhat of a guess). You will, of course, need someone to come along and plug everything in, which is where things are going to get expensive.

    --
    David Hicks

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    LeicestershirePrimary (7th October 2010)

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Uncontended ADSL for £50? Remember that chunks of Leics can be quite rural ...

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    LeicestershirePrimary (7th October 2010)

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    AIT
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    First question would be what is it? ADSL SDSL MIA? and what speed then you can judge on price?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    You can get an uncontended ADSL line for around £50 a month, which seems like a good half-way point between a crummy home-style ADSL connection and a leased line. You'll need filtering - something like Smoothwall will cost a couple of thousand pounds to set up and maybe £1,000 a year to maintain (double-check those figures, they are somewhat of a guess). You will, of course, need someone to come along and plug everything in, which is where things are going to get expensive.

    --
    David Hicks
    I wish that £50 for uncontended broadband was possible. Who from? Just looking around here, we'd be able to get a 2Mbit uncontended ADSL for about £450 a month... But then, this isn't somewhere like London...

    £4k for 6 months may seem like a lot, but does the school receive the full harnessing technology grant? Or does it get topsliced. If the latter, then £4k is ridiculous. If the prior, then it is fine. Remember, they are likely providing more than simple internet connectivity. Filtering? Is it fibre? Uncontended?

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    We share the costs of our internet feed and associated back-end services among our schools, basing the sharing partly on pupil numbers. We then add the cost of the link to the individual site, based on the bandwidth they want. For a 140-pupil primary, our costs would be about £4000 per year for a 10mbps SDSL connection, or approaching £6000 per year if they opted for 100mbps fibre.

    Again, these casts may seem high when compared with home broadband prices, but they are uncontended, and backed up by various services, including filtering, DNS and NAT management.

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    EMBC provide a Becta Accredited Filtering Service on each line, from ADSL through to 20Mb+ lines. They also provide a regional IdP based on Windows AD but allowing for SSO, via Shibboleth connected services, to a range of educational products the school or LA may subscribe to. The user authentication also then allows for targeted filtering based on each user and their role. The filtering can be further adopted using Local Control of Filtering too.
    EMBC also provide a hosted email service accessible via OWA or a primary-friendly front-end ... or via Mail client. All email traffic in and out of EMBC passes via a mail filter (EMF from WebRoot), which can be controlled and added to by each school (skills and capacity permitting). Some LAs run their own helpdesk but others use Synetrix for first line too ... this adds to the cost too.

    Then you also have the videoconferencing via desktop or H323 devices too ...

    It is not just a broadband connection.

    I am not saying schools cannot bring together the same range and set of services which a school needs ... there are some good examples out there of schools doing it, but they are also aware of what they have had to pay for those things they do themselves.

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    Thanks everyone - I have found out a little more.

    We currently get 4Mbps and a contention ratio of 4:1. It is a Fibre connection. As a number of you have pointed out, we get some services - Filtering, Firewall and internal eMail. It still strikes me as a shed load of money - it represents almost 2% of our overall budget and with the coming cuts, one assumes that it will rise as a percentage.

    Thanks everyone

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    Quote Originally Posted by waldronm2000 View Post
    We share the costs of our internet feed and associated back-end services among our schools, basing the sharing partly on pupil numbers. We then add the cost of the link to the individual site, based on the bandwidth they want. For a 140-pupil primary, our costs would be about £4000 per year for a 10mbps SDSL connection, or approaching £6000 per year if they opted for 100mbps fibre.

    Again, these casts may seem high when compared with home broadband prices, but they are uncontended, and backed up by various services, including filtering, DNS and NAT management.
    Waldronn2000 - that is really interesting; £4k per annum rather than £8k; It sounds as if you get similar provision if not slightly better provision - who provides the service for you?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeicestershirePrimary View Post
    Thanks everyone - I have found out a little more.

    We currently get 4Mbps and a contention ratio of 4:1. It is a Fibre connection. As a number of you have pointed out, we get some services - Filtering, Firewall and internal eMail. It still strikes me as a shed load of money - it represents almost 2% of our overall budget and with the coming cuts, one assumes that it will rise as a percentage.

    Thanks everyone
    What about the harnessing technology grant - are you receiving this direct to the school? Or is it top-sliced by the LEA?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    EMBC provide a Becta Accredited Filtering Service on each line, from ADSL through to 20Mb+ lines. They also provide a regional IdP based on Windows AD but allowing for SSO, via Shibboleth connected services, to a range of educational products the school or LA may subscribe to. The user authentication also then allows for targeted filtering based on each user and their role. The filtering can be further adopted using Local Control of Filtering too.
    EMBC also provide a hosted email service accessible via OWA or a primary-friendly front-end ... or via Mail client. All email traffic in and out of EMBC passes via a mail filter (EMF from WebRoot), which can be controlled and added to by each school (skills and capacity permitting). Some LAs run their own helpdesk but others use Synetrix for first line too ... this adds to the cost too.

    Then you also have the videoconferencing via desktop or H323 devices too ...

    It is not just a broadband connection.

    I am not saying schools cannot bring together the same range and set of services which a school needs ... there are some good examples out there of schools doing it, but they are also aware of what they have had to pay for those things they do themselves.
    So if a school was to move away from the RBC what would happen in terms of local portals etc? Would they still have to pay to access those?

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    I need to ask the question but, the recent change is due to the removal of a grant....I will ask the question.

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