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Wired Networks Thread, Am I mad? School broadband cost versus home in Technical; Hi, I'm new here so apologies if this question has been answered, but I'm just blown away by this... My ...
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    Am I mad? School broadband cost versus home

    Hi, I'm new here so apologies if this question has been answered, but I'm just blown away by this...

    My local school spends £8.5k per year on broadband, the equivalent of around £700 per month. For 10MB ADSL.

    At home, 1 mile away, I get 100MB cable broadband for around £35 a month.

    Can someone help me understand?! I have one computer at home, getting 10x the speed of my school, for 5% of the cost?!!

    Something is wrong about this.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    The school really has just 10mb adsl and not a 10mb symetric connection?

    It probably also connects to a regional broadband consortium and meets e-safety requirements.

    Ben

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misources View Post
    Hi, I'm new here so apologies if this question has been answered, but I'm just blown away by this...

    My local school spends £8.5k per year on broadband, the equivalent of around £700 per month. For 10MB ADSL.

    At home, 1 mile away, I get 100MB cable broadband for around £35 a month.

    Can someone help me understand?! I have one computer at home, getting 10x the speed of my school, for 5% of the cost?!!

    Something is wrong about this.
    Exactly what is said above. the 10mb is also probably 10mb each way (plus its going to be 10mb) your 100mb would fluctuate depending how many others are online. Then there is filtering of both web traffic and also email etc.

    We have just ordered a 100mb leased line for 12.5k

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    8.5k p/a for a 10Mb/s line is an absolute rip-off. Our Local Authority sells this to unsuspecting primary school head teachers.
    You should be able to get a 10Mb/s connection for round 4k with an EFM line.

    Difficult to compare to home connections because with a dedicated line you get a 1:1 contention (unless, as in the case of our LA they contend it with other schools!) The other bits that you don't get with home connections are synchronised line, service level agreement (money back if they screw up) and a backup line.

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    You'll probably find that you get a whole heap of other services thrown in. For our several £Ks a year we get synchronous broadband via a managed proxy server, filtering, email, web hosting, technical support and loads of extra goodies. I would suspect that providing secure internet access that meets all requiremets in terms of security and safety is going to cost you a bit more than £35 a month.

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    Quote Originally Posted by laserblazer View Post
    You'll probably find that you get a whole heap of other services thrown in. For our several £Ks a year we get synchronous broadband via a managed proxy server, filtering, email, web hosting, technical support and loads of extra goodies. I would suspect that providing secure internet access that meets all requiremets in terms of security and safety is going to cost you a bit more than £35 a month.
    Right, but to answer a few responses from above, at home I get 100MB down, and 10MB up...AND during the hours of 9am to 3pm when a school uses the cable from the residential road it's in, hardly anyone at all is sharing the connection. And as £35 per month is 5% the cost, I could take 3 lines if I liked?!

    And all this 'you get extra stuff' business...I just can't get over it...a 'managed' proxy server?! you mean some software a team of 2/3 kids could code in a weekend sitting on web server somewhere? Filtering? Ditto. E-mail?!!!!!!!! E-mail has been free FOREVER! Google Apps for Education is a classic example. Hosting?!!!! I've got an all-I-can-eat reseller hosting account that costs me £40 per month. Technical support? When has a broadband provider ever given technical support?

    I'm sorry, I just can't get over what an unbelievable heist is going on here. Schools like mine are being ripped off by a huge factor.

    Emperor. Clothes. New.

  7. 2 Thanks to misources:

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    glennda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misources View Post
    I'm sorry, I just can't get over what an unbelievable heist is going on here. Schools like mine are being ripped off by a huge factor.
    Without being funny it doesn't work like that. Yes there are solutions out there that are free (I use a lot of them myself being a linux person). But having a fully managed service costs. Saying Email has been free forever isn't true - for a properly managed service anyway (in relative terms google apps/lice@edu are fairly new).

    When has a broadband provider ever given technical support?
    When it doesn't work (although it tends to be rubbish if you are calling from home)

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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    Without being funny it doesn't work like that. Yes there are solutions out there that are free (I use a lot of them myself being a linux person). But having a fully managed service costs. Saying Email has been free forever isn't true - for a properly managed service anyway (in relative terms google apps/lice@edu are fairly new).

    When it doesn't work (although it tends to be rubbish if you are calling from home)
    I'm sorry, but I have to push back on the e-mail one - a 'managed service' from a uk company is one that runs something like Exchange servers in a hugely costly way, and is only 'managed' because it's based on server technology designed for corporations in a client/server model. The exchange servers will fall over, or even the linux mail solution will go down because the hosting provider will have an outage. Gmail, or Hotmail, it makes no difference, is centrally run in some of the world's most efficient data centres run by some of the wealthiest companies on the planet who have a brand to maintain far more important than the company providing a 'managed' service. If you get Linux, you surely get this concept?!

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    There are plenty of posts on EG about the differences between home and school internet connections, and it seems to be an annually asked question. Apart from the contention issues, guaranteed speed, service levels and the legal/safety/privacy issues of school connections you really cannot compare the two due to reasons other people have already stated.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    I don't quite get what you're ranting about?

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    I don't quite get what you're ranting about?

    Ben
    Quite simply the 20x delta between the cost of a very high quality service I recieve at home (£35 per month versus £700), to the one my school gets with 10% of the download speed (10MB at school, versus my 100MB), and the same upload speed (10MB each).

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    School internet connections are generally not like home connections. Here are a few considerations (it is by no means a complete list)

    1. Contention - a home connection will typically be on a 1:50 contention, whereas a fibre line will be much lower than that (if it is a direct connection to an RBC, it'll likely be closer to 1:1).

    2. Proxy - this is not something to be sniffed at. Proper filtering that complies with all the requirements that schools have is not cheap. If you go out and buy an off the shelf box to do it, you're looking at several thousand pounds a year just for filtering.

    3. Email - Sure, there are free email services, but these are very recent and new. Many schools feel that services such as Google Apps don't provide the service that they require in terms of filtering, management and control. If a school doesn't want to go 'cloud', then an email service for a school is a costly endeavour. Remember - accountability is needed in a school, and free services sometimes cannot provide that.

    4. Routing - your home router might be able to handle that 100Mbit connection for the handful of devices connected to it, but try getting 100, 200 etc... devices to connect. The thing will basically curl up and die. So, instead, a corporate style router is needed and again, these cost a significant amount of money.

    5. Hosting - All you can eat hosts are notoriously bad. Overselling is rife in that category. This isn't a particularly expensive item to add to the bill when done right, but it is something that many schools like thrown in, as it is something less to think about.

    6. Technical support - this is incredibly important. An internet connection in a school is kind of like electricity or water now. Down time is detrimental to lessons, and as such being able to get through to and able to talk to a tech support person when you need to is an absolute must.

    7. SLAs - mixed with 6, because of the requirements of a modern school on their internet connection, downtime can be seriously disruptive to the normal running of a school. So, business and education offerings often now have an SLA which guarantees a certain level of uptime and service. In order to be able to provide those service levels, the providers have to charge more so that they can invest in better redundancy and better systems.

    8. Location - if the school is rural, getting a fibre connection to them is not cheap, as it generally has to be run a longer distance, this will also have meant an expensive install cost which the ISP will want to recoup if the school didn't pay it outright.

    9. Extras - If the connection is via an RBC, which in 99% of cases it will be, this also connects the school to the NEN, which has many school resources available. Also, video conferencing is provided by all RBCs (gate keepers etc... cost money). Plus other services.

    So, overall, yes, school internet connections are expensive, but for many good reasons. However, £8k for a 10Mbit connection should be leading the school to look elsewhere to compare - for the same level of service.
    Last edited by localzuk; 1st February 2012 at 09:53 PM.

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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    @misources, can you let us know what position it is you hold at your school? This is quite important so we can point you in the right direction as it seems you are unaware of many legal and practical issues when it comes to school internet connections and information hosting (both file and email). Mainly legal emphasis it must be said.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    There are plenty of posts on EG about the differences between home and school internet connections, and it seems to be an annually asked question. Apart from the contention issues, guaranteed speed, service levels and the legal/safety/privacy issues of school connections you really cannot compare the two due to reasons other people have already stated.
    Can you send me the links to other posts? Would love to read.

    As for your points....contention is largely a fallacy. When I test my home connection at various times of the day, I get 100MB during the working day, and around 40MB in the evening, so what's more important is what you actually recieve. Peak broadband usage is in the evening. So a school at ten a.m. on my line would get 100MB down, 10MB up. "Guaranteed" speed? So a school should pay 20x the amount I do to have someone TELL them a service is guaranteed? Not sure I get that, sorry. And the legal, safety, privacy issues is the one I know least about, but as I understand it, there are a lot of suppliers of filtering out there and it's very competitive, and certainly not enough to bump up the service to 20x what I'm paying for at home.

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    @LocalZuk has hit the nail on the head.

    Hotmail and Gmail are great - yes free but not centrally managed - Live@edu/Google Apps have only recently been created to enable this central management which is key.

    Could you imagiene having to try and manually look after 1800 hotmail mailboxs? I've got over 2000 mailboxes on my two exchange servers - but again this functionality costs money but the man hours needed to 1800 hotmail boxes would take the cost 10 fold most probably

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