Schools, Colleges, and Universities have stepped up from the like of a blackboard or whiteboards being enough to teach; now they have wireless presentation screens, interactive screens, tablets and even specialist equipment and machines for certain courses. To use technology like this, most need a connection to the internet which is where broadband comes into play.
Your school, college, or university needs to be able to handle the demands of those systems. Your broadband and wi-fi needs to be adaptable and flexible to your staff and learner’s needs but ultimately, it needs to be reliable.
Strong connectivity means an increase in:
Productivity – Efficiency – Happy Learners (and Teachers) – Resiliency
Which broadband option is best for a Schools, Colleges and Universities?
There is no definitive answer as it depends on what you intend to use over the circuit, number of staff stationed at the site and number of connected devices. However, we do tend to recommend Ethernet because of the high internet demands that education institutions have. Ethernet services are dedicated, uncontended broadband services with guaranteed bandwidth, synchronous speeds and SLA’s.
Unlike Broadband, Ethernet was designed for commercial use, not the residential market. Its key advantage lies in its use of dedicated high capacity fibre optic lines.
Uncontended, guaranteed high bandwidth and uptime.
Fibre Ethernet offers national connectivity and high bandwidth which is up to 10GB delivered over Fibre.
Ethernet services are used by businesses to provide reliable access to email, file sharing, web hosting, data backup, video, or VPN access.
These internet connections provide high speed, also guaranteed bandwidth, uptime, are uncontested which means they are not shared with any other businesses and have a guaranteed SLA making it a solid selection for most businesses.
Fibre Ethernet is an Ethernet Over Fibre service, the connection provides high-speed ethernet bandwidth from 10Mbps to 10Gbps delivered as Ethernet over fibre optic lines.
Fibre Ethernet uses bearers. Bearers are the bandwidth size of the available circuit, it’s the maximum speed that the circuit can go up to. With Fibre Ethernet you can get 100Mbps bearers and add on block of 10Mbps, 1Gbps bearers and add on blocks of 100Mbps up to 500Mbps then after 1Gbps or 10Gbps bearers that you can add on blocks of 1Gbps.
With Fibre Ethernet, you are guaranteed uncontended, high bandwidth, uptime and a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
Speeds: From 10Mpbs up to 10Gbps
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Ethernet Flex 1Gbps
As a City Fibre Champion, we are able to offer the competitive Ethernet Flex 1Gbps solution. It is changing the perception that anything above a standard broadband connection is expensive. With Ethernet Flex we can give you uncontended, guaranteed 200Mbps for uploads and downloads and you can get up to 1Gbps at no extra cost. It's on-demand bandwidth meaning there is no need for portal requests to change and you have unlimited usage.
Speeds: Guaranteed 200Mbps both up and down. 1Gbps burst at no extra cost.
You can choose to have Ethernet Data only, Ethernet Voice Only (used in conjunction with SIP Trunks and Hosted Phone Systems), or Converged Ethernet (Voice, Data and using SIP and a Hosted Phone System.)
Converged Ethernet is the fully managed variant of standard Ethernet and combines both Voice and Data on a single high-speed connection prioritising all voice traffic to guarantee the number of concurrent calls required and quality, without degradation of the service during periods when traffic usage on your circuit could be in high utilisation.
With Converged Ethernet you get dedicated, uncontented, guaranteed bandwidth speeds and SLA’s.
Benefits of Ethernet
- Dedicated, uncontended bandwidth – high availability and low latency connectivity.
- Voice and data convergence – merge voice and data using our Fibre Ethernet which means a significant cost saving for most businesses.
- 24/7 monitoring and helpdesk – for any issues and ensure consistency in performance.
- Service Level Agreement – to cover delivery, performance, availability and fix times.
- Resilient failover – by ensuring there is a failover at your premises and resilient network links via DSL (ADSL and FTTC) /4G / Ethernet (FTTC / EFM /Fibre (R2 link).
- Maximise productivity – With uncontended bandwidth, you can increase productivity as you can be assured that you always have access to essential business applications and files.
- High-Bandwidth connectivity – We can deliver up to 10GBps connection using fibre optic technologies
- Improve site-to-site connectivity – An ethernet connection is essential if you are looking to improve site-to-site connectivity.
Business grade Wi-Fi in Schools, Colleges and Universities
Wi-Fi is extremely beneficial for schools, colleges and universities because in a place where classrooms may not be fixed for staff or students or projects need to be completed external to a classroom, you need the ability to allow staff and students to do their work. That is where Wi-Fi comes in; it allows you to use computers, laptops, tablets, AV equipment etc without the restriction of a cable.
The reliability of your Wi-Fi is dependent on the strength of your signal and there are many things that can affect your signal.
Strong Wi-Fi connectivity means an increase in:
Staff and Student Collaboration – Flexible working - Productivity – Efficiency
Advantages of Wi-Fi in Education
Wi-Fi when used internally can increase productivity and enhance collaboration by the following:
- No desk restrictions – your staff and students can pick up their laptop or device and move to another desk or perhaps a different class room and still remain connected. Ultimately, it means they aren’t tethered to one location when their project could take them all over the campus.
- Increase Collaboration – a huge benefit if groups of students and teachers can take their work to where they need to be and not be restricted by cables.
- Operate Collaboration tools – such as the ability to connect to AV technology; interactive screens and whiteboards which are commonplace in classrooms.
- Simple Infrastructure – you are no longer dictated to by wires and cables when your school, colleges or university grows of when you have an influx of visitors.
Wi-Fi in Schools, Colleges and Universities
Rather than having a public Wi-Fi network that is open to everyone, most schools, colleges, and universities choose to have Wi-Fi networks with different permission levels and with unique log-in details. Meaning that all staff and students are able to access Wi-Fi but they will be restricted with what they are able to do with it and that there is always a record. You can monitor for any internet misuse and if someone is using the Wi-Fi extensively which may affect the available bandwidth, it can be queried.
How secure is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi security is a key concern for schools, colleges, and universities because they hold sensitive data in the cloud but you shouldn’t reject the idea of going wireless when there are things that can be put in place to minimise your risk.
One of the simple security measures we can do is install a wireless Local Area Network (LAN), which will require a passcode, so only approved members of staff will be able to access the connection.
As far as Wi-Fi security, specifically, we use the following products which mean that you have a strong and resilient network:
- Policy Enforcement Firewall – with deep packet inspection to ensure that each connection and user session is secure. Unlike traditional firewalls, our next-gen mobility firewall is aware of user roles, device types and app flows.
- Wireless Intrusion Protection – throughout your network to prevent denial-of-service, man-in-the-middle and other security threats. There is no need to separate RF sensors and security appliances.
- Policy Management – identifies all devices and users so that if an unknown device tries to connect, it is rejected and you are notified.
Find out what Broadband Solution is Available
All we need is your school address including post code and we can tell you what broadband solutions are available and best suited for your type of site.Get in touch