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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, RBCs: What do you want from them? in Technical; For obvious reasons there is a a lot of discussion going on about Internet connectivity, RBCs and alternate providers. Most ...
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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    RBCs: What do you want from them?

    For obvious reasons there is a a lot of discussion going on about Internet connectivity, RBCs and alternate providers. Most of it seems focussed on moving away yet I was wondering:

    What core services would you wish to see being offered by an RBC?

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    ayoward (18th November 2010)

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Smoothwall box in each school, as the RBC filtering is absolutely shocking

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    john (17th November 2010), tom_newton (17th November 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Smoothwall box in each school, as the RBC filtering is absolutely shocking
    Ok but looking at this more generally, would you want filtering as part of the core service? Or perhaps not and use your own solution?

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    far superior filtering to what we are getting would be nice.

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    I think for us and for most secondary schools we want the RBC to stop faffing about with extra services and just concentrate on providing a reliable, fast network connection. We'll do the filtering at our end, our own email, vle etc etc.
    For primary, I can see a filtering system and a few extras are required, but even then these could be provided and managed by the pyramid secondary quite effectively.

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    ayoward (18th November 2010)

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    Something which works.

    In all serious I want a say. I want the council to have a say. I don't want to have a useless, and usually more expensive, product forced on us and then have to pay for another product to replace it. We as a school can't afford it, and we as a country can't either!


    Services wise;
    Filtering
    Exchange email
    Remote backup
    MS and linux web servers with useful languages on them; asp, php, etc. and/or VPSs to stick our own choice of VLE on so that each school can pick which one suits them best.
    Database servers; MSSQL and MySQL
    ISP service monitoring; the ability to see how saturated a link is when "the internet is on a go slow" etc.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 17th November 2010 at 12:54 PM.

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    ayoward (18th November 2010)

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    John and I had a long chat about this at teh R3play expo a couple of weeks back. What seems by many to be the main bone of contention is that varoius RBC's can no longer provide the service schools want. Sites some schools need are routinely blocked, other services such as email are often flakey and levels af frustration run high. I suspect that RBC's need to remodel themselves as well as recognising that trying o keep up with the increasing demands of schools as more and more essential cloud based services are either not available to them or delivered in almost unusable ways surrounded by a levels of beurocracy not even envisaged by Dante!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    I think for us and for most secondary schools we want the RBC to stop faffing about with extra services and just concentrate on providing a reliable, fast network connection. We'll do the filtering at our end, our own email, vle etc etc.
    For primary, I can see a filtering system and a few extras are required, but even then these could be provided and managed by the pyramid secondary quite effectively.
    I'd ditto that - decent connection at a competitive price.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    The central service they should put 90% of their effort into is reliable connectivity at a decent price.

    Filtering should be a secondary service, which can be opted into - so that those with their own systems in place don't have to come up with bodges to get round their own systems.

    Email, VLE, etc... should all be tertiary systems - bought into if wanted.

    Also, RBCs shouldn't be geographically limited IMO. Why should it be that SWGfL has a monopoly down here? Why can't it be that all funds are given to the schools and then they choose the ISP that best suits them? Whilst getting their email from elsewhere, and VLE from somewhere else?

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    TechMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The central service they should put 90% of their effort into is reliable connectivity at a decent price.
    Filtering should be a secondary service, which can be opted into - so that those with their own systems in place don't have to come up with bodges to get round their own systems.
    Email, VLE, etc... should all be tertiary systems - bought into if wanted.
    I agree with this but I also understand that unless the council can say, we will provide x number of schools the companies won't provide the discounts or price levels. My current bug bear is that if you don't opt in to a service or system your money disappears. We've just been told a service here that we don't use will be subsidised but will we see our share of that allowing us to improve the system we use?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechMonkey View Post
    I agree with this but I also understand that unless the council can say, we will provide x number of schools the companies won't provide the discounts or price levels. My current bug bear is that if you don't opt in to a service or system your money disappears. We've just been told a service here that we don't use will be subsidised but will we see our share of that allowing us to improve the system we use?
    I don't see why the council can't still do the whole 'we will provide X schools' thing. They just need to consult with the schools before they do it. So, they'll actually be able to give an accurate number, whilst not forcing schools to use systems they don't want.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    We are looking at pulling the plug on the RBC in our area, for the following reasons

    County based emails (xxxx@xxxx.beds.sch.uk) seems to be down more than it is up, which is highly frustrating.
    The filtering gets flicked off and we have had children accessing youtube etc (I've now added about 2000 sites to our ISA as a bit of redundancy) but its still not enough
    The actual broadband service we pay for is a minimum of 20MB and upto 100MB, we're lucky if we see 2MB at best, and independant speed tests by various companies have confirmed this.

    If we switched to BT Business Broadband, we know what we are paying for, and the money we save, can go towards a smoothy box. Its not just my school thats suffering, there are atleast 6 in my area that I know feel the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    I think for us and for most secondary schools we want the RBC to stop faffing about with extra services and just concentrate on providing a reliable, fast network connection. We'll do the filtering at our end, our own email, vle etc etc.
    For primary, I can see a filtering system and a few extras are required, but even then these could be provided and managed by the pyramid secondary quite effectively.
    That's also what we would prefer. I'd also like to be able to speak to them directly and not get the "you tell us, we tell A who decide it's B's area who then determine the issue is with C's equipment and they have 3rd party support so D's engineers will contact you".

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36Degrees View Post
    That's also what we would prefer. I'd also like to be able to speak to them directly and not get the "you tell us, we tell A who decide it's B's area who then determine the issue is with C's equipment and they have 3rd party support so D's engineers will contact you".
    Sounds like our connection here! 5 different companies involved IIRC.

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    LEA Helpdesk inform their Technical Support who inform Synetrix if necessary. They then contact Kingston Communications if it is hardware related and an engineer then contacts you if it can't be resolved remotely.

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