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London Grid for Learning (LGfL) Thread, Alternative to LGfL2 for a small site in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); ...
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    hit
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    Alternative to LGfL2 for a small site

    I have taken over the support of a very small site for the provision of education where students have been removed from mainstream and for one reason or another cannot be placed elsewhere or accommodated at the PRU.

    Going though the paperwork it appears that the sites broadband is provided by LGfL/Synetrix and the contract will terminate during the summer holidays. LGfL have quoted me something in the region of £5k pa for 5 years for LGfL2 which I know the person who holds the purse string won't go for.

    My experience is only with LGfL as a provider so am not really up on what else is out there, any cheap and cheerful (but reliable) ideas? The number of students on site is never above 20 at any one time with about 5 staff so a 100Mb connection isn't really needed here, but some decent filtering is going to be a must with this lot!

    Thanks.

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    You could look to EFM (ethernet for the First Mile) which will give you speeds up to 10Mbps (options from 2Mbps). Or check this thread, Which could suit your needs quite nicely.

    Then a Smoothwall or other filtering devices on top. There is a school like yours near me which uses 4 2mb's line load balanced using a smoothwall device near me. The guy does want faster broadband but it quite rural so has to wait for BT to do FTTC which should be latter part of this year.

  3. 2 Thanks to glennda:

    hit (16th February 2012), tom_newton (17th February 2012)

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    hit
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    I was looking at EFM and will have to investigate further, also smoothwall may be a way to go, going to depend on pricing for everything!

    So much for a nice easy day when I get back to the office on Monday, looks like I'm going to be on the phone all day

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    The Guys at Smoothwall are top notch - I ordered myself one in late october/november and have been tweaking since then. Tell them what you require and they will arrange somebody to come visit and show you how it works. Give @tom_newton a PM and he'll put you in touch with an account manager.

    With regards to the line if you can get Fibre to the Cab then TBH with max of about 30 users a BT infinity line should work well you for. The key factor is the filtering and firewall you put before the line.

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    tom_newton (17th February 2012)

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    Did someone mention me?

    Thanks for the recommendation!

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    hit
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    @tom_newton email sent with more detail.

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    If the other schools in the borough or in your 'catchment' make use of USO or the London MLE I would suggest you consider the benefits to be had in keeping some systems and continuity between providers - there is some psychological benefit to having the system recognise you as you move through it. Also it does almost completely remove the need for you to worry about firewalls, SLAs, filtering, AntiVirus etc while providing ready to go AUPs and other useful bits of guidance.

    It also has ready to go hosted Exchange email and Live@edu, that cuts right down on your office licence requirements.

    Further, with it you can also get a full blown Cisco VOIP for a few hundred quid and Wireless for the same (and they are both pan-london systems)

    LGFL2 is going to be totally awsome (apart form the inevitable bits they get a bit wrong). If I were building a new school, free or academy, LGFL would form a central componant of it.
    Last edited by psydii; 1st March 2012 at 06:05 PM.

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    Im not into LGfL bashing, i really like what they provide (mostly) but, well, heres the weird thing, the students and staff will actually have USO accounts as they are registered at one of the PRU's.

    This is where the pricing part of LGfL2 is a bit crap as they get counted as part of the pupil count at the PRU even though they will never be there and then have to get counted again at the alternate provision site.

    The staff are also paid by the PRU and therefore exist in their SIMS, get updated in to USO and so have a LGfMail account.

    There is very little to be gained by actually having a LGfL2 connection at the site, theoretically we could get any old provider and set up a VPN tunnel back to the PRU and some nifty routing if they ever needed to access the little content that is only available from within the LGfL2 core.

    So, £5k pa for LGfL2 or about £1500 for an alternative solution, the maths is pretty simple I'm sure you would agree!

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    With USO, all content is supposed to be available from everywhere. So if the staff and students get their LGFL benefits thanks to being officially at the PRU I'd say it sounds like you're on to a winner with that plan.

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