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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Internet providers - Going it alone in Technical; Just after peoples thoughts, opinions and experiances. Our internet is currently provided by our LEA 100 meg connection and they ...
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    Lightbulb Internet providers - Going it alone

    Just after peoples thoughts, opinions and experiances. Our internet is currently provided by our LEA 100 meg connection and they also provide the filtering. Just wondering for those that are independent what internet provider they use and what the service is like and what they get and ruffly how much they pay a year. I would be also interested in how they are set up in teh terms of filltering and who they use and what sort of firewall they have.

    Thanks.

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    Well we're just in the process of going it alone here. The notice should be going in to our LEA this week . We're planning to go for a 30mb/s on a 100mb/s bearer through Opal. We already use Smoothwall for filtering and we have a Juniper SRX240 firewall. Having had pricing from over 15 providers we found there to be a big variation in price, partly down to providers not wanting the business and also down to how far you are from their nearest POP. The further away you are the more it costs to install the connection, the higher the cost is likely to be.

    If you already have fibre in place then it may be cheaper to install, but it really depends on who's providing the current connection and if you're new provider can reuse the circuit/ducting. I hope that helps!

    EDIT:
    Just realised I forgot to add our costs to the above! Currently best price we're getting is around 9.5k/year for 30mb/s on 100mb/s with 0 install cost including a managed router. Best price for 100mb/s on 100mb/s was around £16k with 1k install. Both of those come with backup ADSL connections with auto-failover
    Last edited by Soulfish; 15th November 2010 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Costs!

  3. 2 Thanks to Soulfish:

    SimpleSi (17th November 2010), Zenden (26th November 2010)

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    We're on a lesser connection at the moment - 40Mb/10Mb FTTC from Zen Internet, which costs us £65/month +VAT. A 100Mb leased line is MUCH dearer - I'll let someone who has one break that cost to you.

    In terms of filtering, we currently rely on an onsite RM SmartCache that was left over from our days as an RM network. The box is paid for and the filtering updates are dirt cheap at less than £100/year. It's not the best solution though, and if I had the money to replace it I would have a Smoothwall box instead. The filtering subscription is a bit dearer, but worth it. The initial cost of replacing the hardware is what's putting me off at the moment.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    We're not independent at the moment, but I have researched it a bit here. As mentioned before, the pricing is dependant on your distance from the nearest POP. Ours is in a nearby village for some reason, and as such the cost for a 10Mbit connection on a 100Mbit barer comes in at £12.5k per annum with BT, increasing to about £17k for a 30Mbit connection.

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    @AngryTechnician; How're you finding FTTC? We're planning to make the leap here when our sysadmin team is back to full strength - and i'm even contemplating it at home (though only vaguely, as I am from Yorkshire, and as such disgracefully tight )

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    Our school is in the middle of nowhere and is private so no LEA here. Have looked at leased lines but most we can get on a sub-50K budget is 4mb. So it's 4mb ADSL line here for all.

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    Currently investigating my options, we were paying heading for 10K for a 10 meg connection with the LA, looking at bonded ADSL (no SDSL where we are and a leased line I know from a previous job is painfully expensive due to rurality!) we can get a 3 line bonded ADSL system in for around 5K a year included router and 4hr responce time or we get refunded service which is looking a good possible option.

    I expect this years BETT show to have a few firms selling internet direct to schools that maybe only ever used to deal with LAs as schools cannot afford the LA costs.

    Do remember to check everything your LA provided though, its more than just internet so you need to make sure you tick all boxes or you may find yourself with a sudden moment when something you rely on is no-longer present.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post

    Do remember to check everything your LA provided though, its more than just internet so you need to make sure you tick all boxes or you may find yourself with a sudden moment when something you rely on is no-longer present.
    +1 on this. Our LEA provides filtering, firewall, access to the various NGN resources and spam/antivirus mail checking (through their Cisco IronPort). We already use our own filtering (Smoothwall), have our own firewall (Juniper SRX240), and are about to move our spam/antivirus checking to MS Forefront Exchange Online. The only thing we're unable to replace/replicate like for like is the NGN resources, but having talked it through with everyone they're not resources we use so aren't that fussed with loosing access to them.

    Because of the services we already use, the fact that the NGN resources are unnecessary for us and that we're able to get a better connection cheaper it's a no-brainer for us to move

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    We've been independent for about 4 years now after a falling out with our RBC over the speeds provided. We've been doing very well operating independently (as our RBC was also a managed service, it created all sorts of ties into the county Intranet and systems) and I've just signed the contract to upgrade our connection from the RM-provided 8mb Bonded ADSL (which now no longer works - thanks BT) to a 20mb leased line on a 100mb bearer.

    Our provider is Novatech, who have subcontracted to Vaioni who I believe are then using Opal, so I suspect I may have been able to get a slightly lower cost, but the cost we got was excellent compared to the competition anyway. Over a three year period it's about £25k total for the connection and a managed router with pro-active monitoring, including install, and in the same time frame we'd have paid nearly £20k for the bonded service anyway. We do now have to pay for our Smoothwall on top of that, as previously the RM filtering was included, but the flexibility and power of the Smoothwall over the RM system makes it worth the investment anyway.

    So although the service hasn't started yet, I'm pretty happy with what we've got coming in - it will be a vast improvement both in speed and flexibility of the filtering. YMMV though as we are already used to running away from the LEA.

    Word of warning though: BT are going round ripping out the bonding hardware at exchanges to replace it with ADSL Max equipment instead. They will do this without warning, without notice and without checking if anyone is using a bonding service. I know this because they did it to me over half term. You can imagine my expression when this happened.

  11. Thanks to sonofsanta from:

    tom_newton (16th November 2010)

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonofsanta View Post
    Word of warning though: BT are going round ripping out the bonding hardware at exchanges to replace it with ADSL Max equipment instead. They will do this without warning, without notice and without checking if anyone is using a bonding service. I know this because they did it to me over half term. You can imagine my expression when this happened.
    If you have a contract, 'sue' is the answer here. No provider can randomly rip out equipment if they are under contract.

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    tom_newton's Avatar
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    It is unfortunate - multilink PPP is a great way of doing bonding, but no ISPs seem interested in letting you play with it

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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_newton View Post
    It is unfortunate - multilink PPP is a great way of doing bonding, but no ISPs seem interested in letting you play with it
    Spent a couple of hours talking to a firm local to you that does MPPP Tom they had heard of Smoothwall (you'd hope so with them being Leeds based!) Was an interesting conversation There sending me some details on Bonded ADSL systems for us and the costs are very favorable and with our 8mb sync we should get a good service for quite a lot less than the LA.

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    I have just had a quote from Virgin MEdia for:

    100 - Mbps
    One Off Installation Charge £0.00
    ISP Connection Annual Rental Charge £12,000.00
    CISCO 3845 Fully Managed Rental Charge £2,950.00
    Total Annual Charge for 100Mbps £14,950.00

    Seems like good value, you need to budget in filtering though on top of that.

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    Hi everyone, I’m looking in to this but my boss wants clarification in terms of security and BECTA standards, a question to the people who are independent of the local authority what firewall and filtering solutions do you have?
    I’m looking at a managed 100 Meg connection via virgin for around £13,000, we have Smoothwall network guardian what else, in your valued opinions, is required?
    What are you telling or have told senior management/governors about the change over, mine are worried about data security when/if we get our own broadband connection. My local authority is going on about 2 stage security (crypto key’s etc) what are you doing about this?


    thanks

    stevef1

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    Disease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevef1 View Post
    Hi everyone, I’m looking in to this but my boss wants clarification in terms of security and BECTA standards,
    Just tell him Becta standards do not exist anymore, just like Becta

  18. Thanks to Disease from:

    stevenwba (16th December 2010)

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