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Primary schools demanding higher bandwidth

If you're a primary school frustrated with the speed of your internet - you're not alone

Posted by Hannah Oakman | December 03, 2016 | Primary

BESA’s recent ICT in Schools report has revealed some interesting statistics relating to internet access in schools.

Whilst big improvements have been made to both broadband and Wi-Fi infrastructures generally, only 52% of primary schools surveyed described their internet access as good; a 10% decrease on last year’s figure. 

So why then, if the general picture is positive, should primary schools be suffering?

The upsurge in use of tablets in primary schools has led to more on-to-one pupil interaction using personal devices, and this increase in demand on bandwidth would certainly account for slower speeds. Whilst access to desktop PCs has remained constant, the research indicates 36% of primary schools would be most likely to invest in pupil devices such as tablets, meaning access to tablets in primary schools looks set to grow 17% from 26% to 43% by 2017, placing even more demand on a school’s broadband.

David Tindall, Managing Director of Schools Broadband, says sales of broadband to primary schools reinforces this picture. “Where once a 20Mbps connection would have been more than adequate, the increased use of digital resources is putting a lot more demand on bandwidth.”

He added: “If primary schools don’t take a full dedicated Leased Line, which gives the same download speeds as upload speed, and can go up to 10Gbps, we very often install ‘EoFTTC’ (Ether over Fibre to the Cabinet) which gives schools 80Mbps download speeds of which 20Mbps is guaranteed. Because of this demand, we have gradually adjusted our price points for primary schools. This particular connection gives similar benefits to that of a dedicated Leased Line, but at a primary-friendly price.” 

Primary schools in particular are at a point where many have a difficult decision to make; whether to invest for the future in a full Leased Line or stick with broadband based (EoFTTC) technology. Whilst EoFTTC gives a bigger bandwidth bang for buck, it is less dependable and has a more limited future upgrade path.

If you’re faced with this dilemma, it is important you speak with a network specialist who has access to all the UK major networks, so they can review all bandwidth and price options.

Schools Broadband is a leading ISP to the education sector, providing over a thousand schools with faster broadband, DfE-compliant web filtering and world-leading network security – all in one package.

For more information visit www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk/discovermore or call 01133 222 333

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