School Broadband Services – Internet Security for Schools
School broadband services are essential these days. Classroom365 supports all broadband service providers in the educational sector. We have a great relationship with many, established over the last 18 years working in schools and whom we partner with.
There are many different things to remember regarding reliable broadband providers and their services. First, internet speeds can vary significantly between providers, so finding one that can offer the speeds your school needs is essential. Second, costs vary depending on the provider, so comparing prices is necessary before deciding. Lastly, there is quite a choice of broadband suppliers, so it’s vital to research each one to find the best fit for your school, as they all offer other services and features.
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Fibre Broadband for Schools Speed and Connection Options
With broadband for schools, the first consideration is the type of connection. FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) and FTTP (fibre to the premises) are the most common options. Another thing to consider is internet speed and how fast you need it. And finally, the cost is always a factor. Here’s a quick comparison of FTTC and FTTP internet connectivity services.
FTTC offers speeds up to 100Mbps, with an average range of 40-80Mbps. It’s typically less expensive than FTTP, but the speeds can vary depending on how far your school is from the cabinet that serves your school. FTTP offers speeds up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps), averaging 200-600Mbps. It’s more expensive than FTTC, but the speeds are more consistent and tend to be higher. So, which is best for your site? Well, it depends on your needs and budget. If speed is the most important, then FTTP is the better option. If cost is the primary concern, then FTTC might be better. Whichever you choose, shop around and compare service deals to get the best possible price.
Another option is a leased line which offers uncontended internet services, ideal if you have a VOIP phone system and a large organisation dependent on a reliable connection.
Broadband for Schools - Free Quote
With fast and reliable broadband, your school will need a secure, managed WiFi network. Classroom365 is involved in the Connect the Classroom scheme from the DFE, providing funding across the UK for wireless infrastructure upgrades. See our guide for more details on the Education Investment Areas involved.
Internet for Schools Broadband Pricing Information
Internet for schools pricing varies as expected between different suppliers. The annual cost typically varies between £2,000 and £5,000 per annum depending on several factors and considerations:
- A flat cost for the broadband network.
- An installation cost for the FTTC or FTTP connection.
- Connectivity equipment, including router, fibre modules and cabinet shelving.
- How long is the contract for? Typically a more extended contract will give you better discounts on the annual cost.
- Will there be a substantial improvement in reliability?
- What features, such as cloud services, content filtering and online backup services, are included in the school’s broadband service?
- Are there cost-effective options by local education authorities?
School Broadband Features Included With Your Education Internet Provider
Firewall and Internet Security for Schools
A firewall is a network security system that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic connectivity based on predetermined security rules. A firewall typically sits between the school’s internal network and the internet and is configured to allow or deny traffic based on defined security rules. Typically, a hardware firewall is connected to the outgoing broadband connection, which will be included with your school broadband annual contract. It’s worth checking with your internet provider if this is included.
Firewalls offer multiple advantages in educational settings. For instance, it can ensure the security of the internal school network from cyber-attackers and viruses. Additionally, users can be given specific access to resources thanks to a controlled segregation of rights. Moreover, firewalls are adept at optimising data transmissions by caching commonly requested information to prevent students from downloading similar elements every time they require them. Despite the improved speeds of broadband networks, these firewalls are still helpful in increasing efficiency.
There are a few things to remember when configuring a secure firewall in a learning environment. First, ensuring that the firewall is configured correctly to allow only traffic necessary for school operations is essential. Second, the firewall should be monitored regularly to ensure that it functions perfectly and that no unauthorised changes have been made to its configuration.
Classroom365, as part of our ICT service level agreement, would manage this by liaising with your school internet service provider, updating configurations and firmware updates requested by them. Following these tips ensures your network is well protected against external threats and internal misuse.
Web Filtering for Schools – Support and Management
Most internet service providers for education generally include web filtering for schools. This is one of the key differences between education, business and home broadband services. This allows clients to restrict access to specific internet sites or types of content using filtering rules, ensuring that students can only access appropriate content online. Web Filter from Smoothwall, for example, is an excellent content filtering package for student safety and protects them from inappropriate internet activity. Of course, no broadband filtering system is perfect, and students may still find ways to access inappropriate content. However, school internet content filtering can help to create a safer and more focused learning environment.
High level web filtering can be managed through cloud services or on-premises hardware connectivity solutions. Designated key members of staff can control the whole system after completing a training session, if this is preferred. One benefit of cloud filtering technology is the ability to enforce content filtering for pupils and teachers on their home wireless network with a school-owned laptop.
Internet Monitoring for Schools
Schools should take advantage of internet monitoring solutions to prevent potentially harmful content from reaching students. These systems, such as Smoothwall, can provide various features along with comprehensive firewall protection. They also help monitor activity, track usage, and send alerts in case of suspicious behaviour. Moreover, these solutions supply detailed reports to aid in policy decision-making by pinpointing patterns in internet usage. With this protection in place, educational institutions can create a safe environment for their pupils and promote a better learning space.
Classroom365 as a Smoothwall partner, offers customers cost effective prices, free advice and rapid response to any connectivity issues.
Antivirus for Schools Support and Maintenance
It is more important than ever for schools to have some antivirus protection in place. Computers have become a staple in education, and as such, they are a prime target for viruses and other malicious software. Schools can help protect their curriculum client devices, servers, and network infrastructure from these threats by having an antivirus solution in place. In addition, a school antivirus solution can also help to block phishing attempts and other malicious activity. As a result, antivirus for schools is essential to keeping your network safe and secure.
Classroom365 manages installation, support, monitoring and configuration changes of your antivirus endpoint security as part of our service level agreements. We are experts in industry leaders, Sophos Antivirus and Panda Antivirus for schools, all part of our ICT services and solutions portfolio.
Antivirus protection for schools is often bundled with the internet service providers’ broadband package. For example, with the London Grid for Learning (LGFL) by AdEPT, Sophos Central or Sophos Enterprise Console is included for all endpoints. This comprehensive solution removes having to purchase licences as part of their LGFL broadband solution.
School Email Solutions and Curriculum Resources
LGFL Broadband includes StaffMail, AdEPT’s email solution, in their broadband connectivity packages, along with 100’s of curriculum resources, videos and training presentations. Being connected to a “grid” means schools can easily be connected, replicating data across a secure network, which makes LGFL, as part of the National Grid for Learning (NGFL), suitable for MATs and Federations. Classroom365, as LGFL partners, provides complete LGFL support and VPN support for MATs and Federations included in our service level agreements.
Many schools require a reliable, no-frills connection and have their email provided by Office 365 or Google for Education. It is certainly worthwhile considering other best value options. Classroom365 has many years experience and will be happy to help advise on email and broadband migrations between other suppliers. Please get in touch.
Our School Broadband Support Engineers Are DBS Checked and Accredited With Internet Security Qualifications
Mark Friend, BSc (Hons), is a Company Director at Classroom365 and has worked in technology for nearly 30 years. His IT career started with Rothschild Bank in Sydney, Australia, before working as a Global VPN Project Manager for the British Council. Mark has 20 years of experience in the UK education sector, helping schools integrate the latest tech into their curriculum and ICT vision.