Are you paying too much for your broadband connection?
In recent years most primary schools have taken broadband services from their local authority, but with many services being withdrawn or increasing in price this year, the time has come to review whether your school is getting best-value from your connection to the internet.
There's no question that the web is an essential teaching resource and demand will only increase as time goes by. For this reason it's important that schools pay for a good-quality broadband connection that can deliver a fast, reliable service. But speed isn't everything. Primary schools in particular need to be mindful of e-safety and therefore a strong filtering policy is a must. For these reasons, the types of cheap deal that home users can access are not appropriate for schools.
For many years the above argument has been used to justify the cost of authority-wide Education Wide Area Networks (WANs), but with recent cuts to central funding and improvements in commercial offers on the market, the case for this has been eroded.
Review your current connectivity with the following points in mind:
Speed – some WAN connections offer primary schools very low speeds of as little as 2mbps. If this is the case, you will almost definitely be able to get a faster connection at a lower price. On the other hand, very few commercial offerings can deliver speeds in excess of 30mbps at present, so if you get more than this from your current connection, it might be best to stay where you are.
Filtering & Flexibility – Increasingly, schools have different policies towards the internet. Some want to keep it locked down and tightly controlled, while others see benefits in allowing some access to sites such as YouTube or Twitter. The important thing is, YOU should be able to decide for yourself. For this reason, double check if your filtering services give you local control over the websites that are allowed or blocked. In the past, many Local Authority WANs adopted a one-size filtering policy across the area.
Cost – Has your broadband connection increased in price? If so then it would be sensible to test the market to see what you could get. With budgets squeezed at the moment this is a very good time to try and save money on this often overlooked line of expenditure.
To give you an idea of what's available out there, we've joined forces with Zen Internet to offer a range of broadband connectivity options, complete with a fully managed firewall that will filter internet traffic whilst giving you control over the websites you want pupils to see.
Superfast Fibre Broadband can deliver speeds of up to 40Mbps, and while it's not available in every area*, even the standard ADSL2 services from Zen can provide schools with fast reliable internet connectivity at a low-cost. Average primary school packages come in at around £3,500.00 per annum for a 2 year package.
If you give us a call and tell us your postcode or telephone number, we'll be able to tell you, there and then, what speed you can expect from your connection, and provide a quotation price for you. We'd also be happy to talk about your requirements and help you assess whether your current connection is giving you the best service available.
Call our office on 0845 052 1066
* Please note: At present we can only offer services to schools with a BT landline (Telephone or Fax)