18 Jun Internet connectivity, Safeguarding and enabling the Cloud (this is interesting, we promise!)
What is this about, and why should I care?
With more and more Education establishments adopting a technologically progressive nature in the delivery of Teaching and Learning with 1:1 device schemes and “Cloud first” approaches, the requirement for a fast, reliable and stable internet connection is becoming even more apparent.
It may seem obvious, but the more information that is stored in the Cloud needs to be accessed from the Cloud which, you guessed it, requires more Internet bandwidth (speed) than previously. Couple this with more portable devices being in situ (with 1:1 schemes, for example) that were not there before, and you ultimately have more data being accessed via the internet, by more devices accessing the internet than previously.
Surprisingly (or, perhaps, unsurprisingly) this simple logic is frequently missed when an organisation is considering these types of changes. The devices are naturally considered, as are the Cloud systems (such as Office 365 or G Suite) and even the capability of the Wireless and physical network… but the actual internet connection – the thing that is providing the backbone to everything else being considered – is either forgotten, or considered last. This naturally causes issues… you know that wonderful new system you’ve put in to use with those lovely shiny new iPads? It all falls down if you have a bad internet connection and the user experience will be horrible as a result.
The other area of note here is that of Internet security – with pupils and students accessing more content online, the need for safeguarding their access is also much greater. Anyone with children (or young adults!) knows that it only takes a whisper or a mention of something and in 10 seconds, they’ve found sources on Google, videos, podcasts and all manner of content about topics that maybe shouldn’t be accessible to them.
So… if you’re considering a faster and more robust internet connection to account for all this, and need some iron-clad safeguarding to ensure that the users are protected while they’re utilising it, what do you do?
Fear not! We’ve got your back…
This is exactly why we’ve created our Education-specific internet packages – named Rock, Paper, Scissors and Lizard (bonus points for anyone who can tell us the reference!). These packages are built for you whether you simply want a more suitable internet connection for your environment, protection for the users or even support for your Cloud systems.
Before we go in to them, here’s a note: Academia are what’s known as a “Tier 2” Internet Service Provider… meaning we own the network – and the traffic – for all of our customers’ connections. We’re not just paying someone else to provide the service, as everything we sell connects to the internet via our Datacentres, meaning we can categorically ensure that all of the traffic can be monitored and safeguarded both before it gets from the user to the internet, and before it gets to the user from the internet.
Also as a result of this, because our Datacentres effectively sit “in the middle” of your building and the internet, any Cloud hosting services we provide to you are completely private and delivered at super speed… as they sit in the “before the internet” stage. This article isn’t about Cloud hosting, so we won’t dwell on the detail, but if you’d like more information on what Cloud Hosting we can offer please speak to your Account Manager who will be pleased to help.
Safeguarding – in the Cloud and on the move
We mentioned Safeguarding above, but what do we actually do with it? Glad you asked! As part of an Internet connection, we can provide fully managed Web Filtering. We use our decades of expertise working with Education to know what to block, how to block it and how to ensure there’s no way around it – of course, if you want to allow or disallow specific sites or services, we can do that too! We use Smoothwall to make this all happen, as it’s built for Education and is deployed in our Datacentres… meaning it’s always online and always available.
As a result, the really cool bit is that it allows us to filter devices that are outside the network. Mobile devices are mobile in nature, right? So if a School/College/University-provided iPad is taken home, it shouldn’t be up to parents to ensure the safeguarding is continued… in reality, how many parents actually know how to set up and operate a Web Filter? Exactly. Not many. Well, maybe us… but we’re nerds and to be fair, this is our job. This is why we built this solution – it allows us to safeguard devices whether they’re in the building, at home, taken on holiday or even used in Space if Elon Musk ultimately gets his way.
The last bonus point to mention is that if you have multiple sites/buildings in your organisation, we can join these together – so effectively they can function as if they’re all the same building, and any equipment on the network in one building can be accessed by devices in another building with no need for VPN! One of the many benefits of us owning the network…
But I’m unique! What if I want my own thing?
While these packages below suggest specific speeds and features, if you like the idea of a particular package but would like a different speed internet connection or different features, no problem… just ask your Account Manager and we’ll put something together just for you.
So, without further ado…
The “solid as a rock” education package
Speeds up to 80Mbps Unlimited and reliable ISP connection, a great value broadband package exclusively for medium to low use internet connection for school
“Wrapping up” your Education needs package
Speeds up to 100Mbps
Universal and reliable ISP connection, with Cloud Web Filtering and optional, managed Office365 support, perfect for active schools on the move
The “cutting through the tape” education package
Speeds up to 330Mbps
Unlimited and highest-grade Leased Line connection, with Cloud Web Filtering, managed Office365 support and Antivirus/Anti-Malware software that is perfect for large schools.
The “Godzilla” education package
Speeds up to 10Gpbs
The fastest, most secure and reliable package to take advantage of the Academia Private Cloud service with full support, training and provisioning process and detail for large schools wanting the best internet quality and service.
This sounds great! How much does it cost?
The Academia Team believe in solution before cost. This means they take into effect several factors before deciding on what ISP package is right for your school, and sometimes your location and post code can play a factor too. So give us a call, and let the team do the hard work and quote you the best package today.
So, what does your school need? Rock, Paper, Scissors or Lizard?