As an internetservice provider to education, Schools Broadband is more than familiar with the everyday pains that schools experience when trying to access vital online tools and resources. Recent research carried out by BESA shows that from those surveyed, 42% of primary schools and 31% of secondary schools said they were under-resourced in broadband provision with a further 65% and 54% (respectively), reporting insufficient Wi-Fi connectivity. With more and more admin systems and learning resources moving to the cloud, we know these connections are only going to be further burdened as the demand for bandwidth increases.
But the news isn’t all bad. With the number of computers and tablets in schools set to rise, so have the budgets. In 2014/15 we saw an increase in budget of 5.5% for primary schools and 9% for secondaries, giving the average primary an ICT budget of £14,450 and a secondary £64,400.
Hope also comes in the arrival of the government’s Superfast Broadband Scheme. Started in 2012,
its project partner BT has now rolled out more than 25,000 km of fibre-optic cabling to over 1.5 million premises, including many schools. The government has confirmed that the rollout is firmly on track to take superfast broadband coverage to 95% of the UK by 2017.
Ethernet over Fibre to the Cabinet (EoFTTC) is one technology that Schools Broadband now offers as standard. As the next generation on from fibre broadband it gives schools superfast broadband with an uncontended line, ensuring that the line speed quoted is what a school will get every day, even at peak times and regardless of how many people are using the internet. This has made a huge difference to countless schools, many of which struggled with internet speeds before because of their proximity from the street cabinet. The EoFTTC service also has the added boon of the guaranteed service level agreement (SLA) which assures schools of a fix within seven hours and 24/7 support.
“Keeping pace with advances in internet technology is a necessity for schools,” says David Tindall, Director at Schools Broadband. “It’s never been more important for pupils to have a resilient, consistently fast internet connection that facilitates learning. Without it we wouldn’t be giving our children the tools they need to succeed in the future.”
EoFTTC is now available from many providers, but sadly not all education ISPs are able to provide it. With the rollout continuing, it is hoped that most schools will gain access to this over the next couple of years.
To see whether your school has access to EoFTTC, you can send your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0113 3 222 333 and we’ll run a free, no-obligation check on your school.