Schools. Service. Ten Questions to Ask your Education. Broadband. Supplier

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1 Schools Broadband Service Ten Questions to Ask your Education Broadband Supplier The ten questions were compiled by the South East Grid for Learning at All information correct at time of publication. November 2012.

2 Connection Bandwidth Question 1 Schools have a range of different bandwidth requirements now and can expect usage to grow at different rates; evidence from the National Education Network shows that we can anticipate a bandwidth growth rate for schools of between 30% p.a. and 50% p.a. Explain how you will accommodate this range of bandwidth requirements and expected growth in usage during the period of the contract. How do I know that your service will still be adequate for my school in 5 years time? Bandwidth usage varies with pupil age, size of school and the educational emphasis given to ICT. In Kent, primary schools record an average bandwidth of over 6 Mb and secondary schools nearly 30 Mb. One independent secondary is already using well over 100 Mb. Contracts signed today need to be flexible enough to accommodate both a range of different requirements now and the expected growth in requirement over its term. The Schools Broadband network, part of the KPSN (Kent Public Services Network) is a county wide high speed fibre optic network, designed to provide schools with a safe, reliable network. EiS Kent provides schools with bandwidths between 2Mb and 1Gb. Our specialist knowledge means we always design connectivity to allow for predictable growth in the foreseeable future. This means that we can increase bandwidth in most cases without fuss or install costs. Design suitability Question 2 My school needs to be able to rely on the suitability of my connection, local and core design contention ratios will affect performance. Also, I expect to use applications that require good upload speeds and I am aware that firewalls, filtering systems and (?) can add latency to networks. With particular reference to contention, latency and symmetric access speeds, what are your guarantees of performance? Contention ratio is the number of users sharing a connection. Most commercial broadband services expect users to share capacity, with home services generally experiencing a contention ratio of 50:1 and business broadband 20:1. There is little point in buying an up to 10 Mbps service if you are sharing it with 49 others. A school s bandwidth must be uncontended at the point of use, in other words no-one else shares its capacity between school and the Internet. In practice, the core of a network can be designed with a contention ratio of 3:1 if it is kept below 70% capacity because not every school will max its bandwidth at all times. Also, it is becoming ever more important that bandwidth is symmetric. Schools use learning platforms, videoconferencing and remote backup, all of which require good upstream bandwidth. Occasionally, recorded upstream bandwidth now exceeds downstream. Schools have moved more quickly into audio and video than other public services. Videoconferencing is probably the most demanding area where, for example, the ability to synchronise lip movement with sound may be important in languages. Latency is the time taken for messages to move around the network and is critical for videoconferencing. EiS Kent provides uncontended broadband services to schools which mean that your service is always consistent. Additionally our service is symmetric meaning we offer equal upstream and downstream bandwidths.

3 Security and Safety Question 3 Explain how your systems protect information, pupils and staff whilst maintaining usability. How can I be sure that you can provide sufficient flexibility for my school s needs? Question 4 E-Safety in my school is more than a set of filtering services. Learners are taught how to behave in online environments and their behaviour is moderated through acceptable use policies and staff supervision. Explain how your filtering systems are responsive to the changing maturity of our users and the demands of different subjects and levels of courses. ecurity for vulnerable people whilst allowing appropriate access to those with specific research needs? Education networks have very specific requirements for security and safety. Schools requirements for security will include: l Pupils and staff using the system inappropriate content and contact. l Personal data and coursework data loss or access by unauthorised persons. l ICT systems from accidental and intentional attack, internal and external. A balanced approach, including policy, education and systems strategies, will be required to protect these elements so that systems are usable with access to appropriate materials being as open as is reasonably possible. Security features should not limit legitimate and planned educational access but should protect users of different ages and different capabilities. Similarly, filtering systems should be responsive to the changing maturity of users and the demands of different subjects and levels of courses Safeguarding, security and e-safety are a priority at EiS Kent. The Schools Broadband service includes an Internet Watch Foundation approved web filtering solution as standard. This means that a school can set appropriate internet access for individuals. Additionally the Educational Video Library is a tool whereby teachers can ensure YouTube and video content can be shared having been cleaned and inappropriate comments removed. In-built SPAM filters mean that your staff and pupils are not subjected to unsolicited or unwanted s. Finally, EiS Kent is part of Kent County Council. We work closely with local and national e-safety experts to ensure that our services are as robust as possible and that our staff are aware of the issues.

4 Reliability and Availability Question 5 Internet access is as important as electricity for my school. Explain how you monitor and report activity on your network, how you discover faults in the service and how you will manage response times to get us back into service. As a minimum, following a break, can you restore service from the start of the following day? A decade ago, the initial enthusiasm for on-line learning nearly stalled as school networks, connected via ISDN, were overloaded or the circuits proved unreliable. Now, a school broadband connection should be available over 99.9% of the time. Confidence in this availability is also important if teachers are to plan on-line learning. Regular, monthly service reports and the ability to restore services rapidly if they do go down will reinforce this confidence. The Schools Broadband network is monitored 24/7 and consistently achieves 99.9% availability. Our Service Level Agreement stipulates a 5 hour response to faults. Planned and unplanned maintenance notices are provided both by and on our website, and monthly performance reports are available online. Advice and Support Question 6 Tell us how you give us continuing support when we are worried about our network security or about the safeguarding of our pupils. What happens if we suspect that something is wrong or if our local ICT support people leave or cannot solve a problem? Expertise in wide area networking is still relatively rare, as is expertise in securing networks and safeguarding users. School staff require responsive and sensitive support services that complement the skills of the local ICT support teams. EiS Kent is the leading supplier of tailored IT infrastructure, hardware and software services to Primary, Secondary and Special schools throughout Kent. We are a not-for-profit unit of Kent County Council and work closely with e- safety and other professionals routinely. EiS Kent offers a wide range of training courses and seminars for both administrative and teaching staff. Our Service Desk is open from Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 17:00 throughout the year. We have a team of technicians who provide support with one off issues or regular support. Ask us about our Technician Support Service for more details.

5 Educational Applications Question 7 How will your service cope with the wide variety of learning services we require now and in the future? How will configuration change requests be made and can you provide a price list of typical changes? The wide area network is only the transport layer for the learning services required by schools. These may include: Videoconferencing, Relay, Firewalls and security measures, Filtering, Anti-virus, and Learning Platforms. Services may be provided by the local authority or third parties, or the school itself, all of which may require configuration of the broadband service. EiS Kent offers a suite of services specifically tailored for schools, which enhance teaching and learning as well as the schools management. Our mission statement is Our passion in EiS Kent is to make a real difference in education and ultimately children s lives by providing innovative solutions and outstanding support services The Schools Broadband service includes the following: l Guaranteed bandwidth from 2Mb to 1Gb l Broadband supplied by Kent Public Services Network (KPSN) l Internet Watch Foundation approved central web filtering service l 24/7 monitoring of your link l Multi-layered security l Range of security services l Local Service Desk Support l Management of broadband supplier l 5 hour on-site response to faults l School website management tool l Educational Video Library l Flexible and easy Remote Working options (VPN) We offer a range of options tailored to each school as part of an annual Schools Broadband support agreement. Cloud Services Question 8 How will a commercial service enable my school to take advantage of developments in off-site, hosted, services provided by the local authority and others? Like many small businesses, more schools are using services hosted in the internet cloud. Services are often hosted in green data centres that provide security for the data whilst reducing the school s carbon footprint. More recently, local authorities are hosting administration applications in data centres or are providing access to other cloud solutions, including , remote backup and LAN support. Using your Schools Broadband connection, you have high speed, secure and reliable access to a number of cloud services offered by EiS Kent including Remote Back-up, EiS Hosting for SIMS and Microsoft Office services. The KLZ (Kent Learning Zone) is a virtual learning platform where the whole school community can share and collaborate. As we specialise in supporting schools, our hosted or cloud services offer robust security levels and backup. Ask us about our range of Hosted Services and KLZ for more details.

6 The National Education Network Question 9 Partnership and collaboration between schools is increasingly important as schools share vital resources and learners need access from multiple sites of learning, from libraries and from their homes. The National Education Network offers confidence, access to resources and the reassurance of being part of a UK-wide push to develop and improve resources. What access to the National Education Network can I expect from your service? The National Education Network comprises the 13 schools broadband networks in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The NEN community drives the development of digital communications infrastructures and services to support the safe, effective embedding of ICT into teaching and learning. Issues such as safeguarding and copyright are managed. NEN offers a number of unique advantages for schools: l Secure and safe environments where teachers, pupils and parents can work confidently together. l Networks sized and maintained to meet the bandwidth and media demands of the education sector, within limited budgets. l Cost savings through aggregated demand, for example for internet transit. The NEN is a partnership between schools and local authorities, working in regional collaboration and with JANET (UK). EiS Kent is part of the National Education Network with two resilient direct connections into the JANET network. Affordability and Value for Money Question 10 Overall, I am minded to remain with my local authority solution but, with an eye on budget pressures, could be persuaded to switch to a more affordable solution. What reassurance can you give me that your commercial service will give better value for money into the foreseeable future? Naturally schools will want all of the above at a low cost. It is important that schools realise that they make considerable demands on a network; typically schools may generate more than four times the traffic of their local authority! Commercial Internet service providers may say that they can provide the same service at lower cost but it is unlikely that the service would be comparable, even in simple matters such as contention and in security. The Schools Broadband, part of the KPSN, is designed to provide schools with a high quality, safe, reliable network connectivity for collaboration and high availability to online materials as required by the Department of Education. Designed specifically for schools and with additional features included at no extra cost, EiS Kent is confident that our Schools Broadband service delivers the best value for money solution for schools.

7 KPSN The KPSN (Kent Public Services Network) is a county wide high speed fibre optic network, designed to provide public sector organisations such as schools, KCC offices, District Council offices and libraries with a safe, reliable network for collaboration and high availability access to online materials. The Schools Broadband Network, part of the KPSN, is designed to provide schools with a safe, reliable network for collaboration and high availability access to online materials as required by the Department of Education. The Schools Broadband Network is delivered by EiS Kent on behalf of Kent County Council and aims to provide best value broadband for schools. Prices & Packages We offer a range of options tailored to the needs of your school. We will provide you with an annual Schools Broadband support agreement. Support includes initial set-up and training, Lightspeed web filtering, 24/7 network monitoring, online resources and service desk. With Schools Broadband our simple, all-inclusive price has no hidden charges. About Us EiS Kent is the leading supplier of tailored IT infrastructure, hardware and software services to Primary, Secondary and Special schools throughout Kent. Established in 1982 we are a nonprofit making organisation within Kent County Council. We offer a tailored service to suit all needs, acting as the IT Department for Primary and Special schools, and a trusted and responsive supplier for Secondary schools. Contact our Schools Broadband team for a discussion with one of our technical consultants about your Broadband and Internet needs. A high quality fast, reliable and safe broadband and web filtering service designed for schools and public services across Kent. Our passion in EiS Kent is to make a real difference in education and ultimately children's lives by providing innovative solutions and outstanding support services. Tel: Fax: EiS Kent The Shepway Centre Oxford Road Maidstone, Kent ME15 8AW

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