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Wireless Networks Thread, Internet providers in Technical; Couldn't really make my mind up which section to put this in so apologies if it should be somewhere else... ...
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    Internet providers

    Couldn't really make my mind up which section to put this in so apologies if it should be somewhere else...

    Due to persistant rubbish service I've decided thatwe're going to switch our internet provider from the LA to elsewhere. Can anyone recommend any quality companies they have experience of who would be able to offer an internet service to a mid-sized secondary school?

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    Joanne's Avatar
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    we use RM, on account of being an RM school. Found that if the LA line goes down though, so does the RM because they run through the same exchange. However, if the LA's servers are down this does not affect your other line. We use the LA one for the kids and the nice fast unfiltered 'spare' for the staff.

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    It depends wholly on what you currently pay and for what before one can recommend an appropriate replacement.

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    wagnerk's Avatar
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    I know that the school where my mates works at uses NTL Business (Virgin) and they have no problems with them. The extra that they have to provide is a decent filtering system.

    -ken

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    We too don't use our local Broadband consortium SWGFL instead use this, much cheaper and more reliable. You'll need a buisness package.

    http://www.eclipse.net.uk/

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    Quote Originally Posted by seanmh View Post
    We too don't use our local Broadband consortium SWGFL instead use this, much cheaper and more reliable. You'll need a buisness package.

    http://www.eclipse.net.uk/
    Aha, I contacted them yesterday, still waiting for them to get back to me with a quote. Have you found them to be stable? What's their support like if things go TU?

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    plexer's Avatar
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    I hope that people have switched to alternatives have fully looked into all the ramifications and discussed it with their LEA and also realise that they don't comply with the soft furnishings companies policies.

    Ben

    (DCSF)

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    Quote Originally Posted by wagnerk View Post
    I know that the school where my mates works at uses NTL Business (Virgin) and they have no problems with them. The extra that they have to provide is a decent filtering system.

    -ken
    The also have a commercial firewall in place too. The other bits that you may miss out on include web space, email server and email filtering.

    Ken, Kim and I are a bit biased about what we think of our region.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proactive View Post
    Aha, I contacted them yesterday, still waiting for them to get back to me with a quote. Have you found them to be stable? What's their support like if things go TU?
    We've got a line from both SWGfL and Eclipse. We haven't had any problems with either line really and if the SWGfL goes down, it's usually down everywhere else too.

    Uptime on both is on, on and on... although we are based a few hundred metres from the BT exchange...

    Eclipse didn't seem to question our 50gb+ bandwidth usage last week alone (stupid adobe software...) either...

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    I hope that people have switched to alternatives have fully looked into all the ramifications and discussed it with their LEA and also realise that they don't comply with the soft furnishings companies policies.

    Ben

    (DCSF)
    This is a good point that I don't think many people realise. Schools have to be connected to the NEN, which can only be connected to via a certain number of organisations, all of which happen to be the RBCs...

    How are those who are breaking away getting around this?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    A number of schools still access NEN materials purely because they are available via a public connection. There are more and more plans so that if you are not on a JANET connection (ie on an RBC or LA that then connects into JANET) you cannot access materials.

    School that choose to go their own way also tend to be the independently-minded (aka bloody awkward) schools that the RBC is glad to see the back of, but they are also the sort of school that wants to do their own thing anyway and there is little loss from not being on an RBC.

    nb ... if it wasn't for us bloody awkward schools we would lose out on a lot of innovation (yes, I know that I am now connected via the RBC ... but I am still being bloody awkward and arguing a heck of a lot!)

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    My understanding of the DFES and Becta guidlines is that being on the NEN is strongly recommended for schools but not compulsory.

    Quote Originally Posted by NEN Service Benefits 2006
    At the same time, the importance of appropriate local choice regarding decisions that are best made by schools must be recognised.
    My reasons for wanting to move are that, for my school, where we currently have a web based VLE, a very large cover room (120 seats) where the work being set is predominantly from web based sources as well as all the other things that involve the net in the day to day activities of most schools, our RBC or to be more specific our LA who currently manage our internet access on behalf of our RBC consistantly fail to provide the very service that the NEN and the RBCs were set up for in the first place:

    To ensure consistency of access and availability
    However, I realise that before such a move can take place, there are a number of issues that need to be addressed.

    • Finding an internet provider, that can offer us a faster and much more consistant service than the one we currently have to endure (hence the purpose of this thread)
    • How will we be able to access our LAs Intranet from without, the features and resources on NEN?
    • Ensuring we have a decent firewall
    • Having excellent filtering software in place


    to name but a few.

    It's not a decision I'm taking lightly orthat I intend to take without extensive reseach an consultation, but I really see no point in spending what we do on the internet at the moment and getting a service that even Orange domestic broadband customers would find rubbish compared to what they have.

    Now if that makes me a fully paid up member of the awkward squad then so be it. I'm sure the ladies and gentlemen who work in IT support for our LA probably think I'm the devil incarnate... I prefer to see it as attempting to ensure that our students and staff have access to the best facilities possible and that our school gets value for money from the services that it pays for
    Last edited by Proactive; 28th February 2008 at 10:19 AM.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    There are a number of options open to you ... have a look at the Becta Accredite internet Services suppliers for a list of those that could be useful (you may even recognise a certain company that does filtering solutions!)

    I'll be honest ... we are an awkward school and I don't mind admitting it ... I am just being awkward from the inside now ;-)

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    Any further suggestions for reputable companies would be most welcome

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    NEN

    What i like to know is at present (i.e. now) what content is available on NEN and if schools are not with RBC and therefore can't access NEN, are they really missing out??

    Ash.

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