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Wireless Networks Thread, Leaving LEA broadband / network provision - anyone done it? in Technical; Originally Posted by Ric_ All schools have decent Internet pipes and the infrastructure is all in place for video conferencing ...
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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Re: Leaving LEA broadband / network provision - anyone done

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_
    All schools have decent Internet pipes and the infrastructure is all in place for video conferencing and the like on the NEN.
    Unless you live near me then you have a shadey wireless connection bouncing around several sites .

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    Re: Leaving LEA broadband / network provision - anyone done it?

    Pete - We are a secondary school, roughly 900-1000 students on roll.

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    Re: Leaving LEA broadband / network provision - anyone done

    Jake,

    What RBC/LEA is your school with? from whjat you are saying it looks like the sign of EMBC

    Few things about the NEN, i wish there was some headway on this, we keep hearing about the usual not available if you are not with an RBCs (well schools would be with RBCs if they provide the kinds of services which schools require!) and it will be compusary to be with an RBC. The probably single biggest mistake form the LEA/or RBCs is the word compusary, sorry but i just can't see this happening. It usually starts up with talks like that but the people who make decisions will realise that there will need to be flexible and not force, let me say this again force schools to be with an RBC so they can have access to NEN.

    The idea of RBC is good and well done to those who have come up with it, but these inconsistencies and other issues needs to be ironed out and let the RBCs mature for few years before inforcing rule like NEN access etc. Schools will move back to RBCs if they get better and allow flexibility that schools require. They need to listen to the schools (who are their main users/customers) on what they want. I applaude the things Tony and others are doing to get somekind of dialogue going with the relavant people/parties in RBC(s) to make them at least aware of the issues schools are facing.

    Time to cut out the politics and red tape and provide the services that really matter to schools.

    Ashok.

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    Re: Leaving LEA broadband / network provision - anyone done it?

    We're down here on the sunny (pfft), south coast, in Portsmouth

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    Re: Leaving LEA broadband / network provision - anyone done it?

    A further note on the NEN via RBC line ...

    All stakeholders with an ICT/IT slant within education agree that the NEN is a good thing ... irregardless of political agendas.

    The differences of opinions are with regards to how schools connect. It has been decided (rightly or wrongly) that Becta are the group that decide the standards that must be met for a school to connect. Some of these are very convoluted and take some ploughing through. It also relies on a certain amount of technical knowledge that not all schools are lucky to have.

    RBCs are regarded as a cost effective method of getting a large number of schools online with the NEN (or usually within the RBC MAN who have access to resources on the NEN) and LEAs/RBCs invest a good amount of time and money looking into an effective solution.

    There is a major downside to this. It means that to achieve this level of homogenisation you have to have everyone on the same network. The easiest way is to tell schools "it will be this way". For a lot of schools this works very well ... for schools that have already invested the time and effort looking at other solutions they may disagree with the RBC findings.

    There are a number of groups out there that want schools to have a level of independence to allow them to still be innovative and challenge the way things are done (eg SSAT) but they also realise that schools have to use the funding sensibly.

    Gone are the days when a school can get a bit of extra funding to try a bizarre yet productive trial, the money isn't there. And the correct use of funding to have ensure that it has an impact on the learning and teaching is actually part of the "every child matters" theme that is inherint from OFSTED.

    There are possible solutions. ISPs that are accreditted poviders to connect you to the NEN are about ... and more are applying.

    You can always turn round to your RBC and tell them you want to do things a certain way because you know the criteria from Becta and the fact that they want to block x, y & z will mean that you cannot take part in activities that are beneficial to the learning of the students.

    Then you also have a chance when the RBC comes up for renewal to ensure that certain things are changed. Make sure that you have an SLA betwwen the school and the RBC ... they schould be accountable and failure of that means you are letting your students down (another OFSTED thing).

    And last but not least ... it all depends on whether you are buying into / out of an RBC for the connection.

    Most RBCs provide additional services. The whole package is Connectivity, Content and Services. A 10 meg pipe might actually only be a 6-8 meg pipe to the internet but more to MAN content and services. A number of the NEN resources are actually hosted within an RBC, so even if you connect to the NEN via another ISP there is no guarantee that you can access the same stuff as the school down the road. And then the services are items which may cost you extra money to host yourself anyway ... email, filtering, etc ...

    I'll be honest and say that a lot of this is politics ... and that it is always a good idea not to get into county / RBC politics ... the best you can do is inform your Head / line manager in SMT ... and make sure they are aware of the implications ... costs ... time ... staffing ... access to materials ... and the different options.

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    Re: Leaving LEA broadband / network provision - anyone done it?

    There is nothing else to add, Tony has said it all.

    There are advantages/dis-advantages from both aspects but the advantages of being seamlessly connected to the NGFL access to LEA resources and potential for growth in VLE connected schools, isolating one's self outside in the rain on your own seems a bit big step to take.

    As we will no doubt shortly see, the takeup of ADSL2+ and 802.16 WiMax in the UK will boost lastmile speeds into both our homes and schools.
    WiMax mesh networks will reduce the need for expensive fibers and the RBC's will be able to provision schools at higher speeds and lower costs.

    The RBC's will have to play leapfrog with advances in network technology and schools will have to learn to be patient as the systems adapt to higher demands and heavier loads.

    The grass always looks greener on the other side of the street but when you cross over is full of worm casts!

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    Re: Leaving LEA broadband / network provision - anyone done

    Our school has been considering leaving our LEA, but there are 2 items that they control and do well at - these are the IP Phones and the SIMS servers

    Looking for info on how you lot tackled migrating SIMS, and the IP phones if you use them.

    We are going to cost getting in new switches and Exchange & ISA servers, etc most of which we can do here



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