• Which is the best broadband for a school – FTTC, FTTP or a Leased Line
 
  • A Fibre to the Cabinet  (FTTC) is the Internet over a copper line and if that connection does not suffer from too much contention and the Green cabinet is not too far away is fine for a small primary school.
 
  • Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) is not available everywhere but where it is its definitely the best value for money with speeds of 160/30 being available at very agreeable costs  – at ekte we will be happy to look into the availability for your school. 
 
  • Leased Lines are symmetrical so there is no contention, the prices of leased lines have dropped significantly in the last 3 years, but you are unlikely to get much change out of £4k so they are not cheap 
 
  • What speeds are available – should the school upgrade to a Leased Line
 
  • There are two elements to ISP’s quoted speed the download and upload speed, the download speed is quoted first then the upload speed, with the speed being Megabits Per Second (Mbps) or Gigabits Per Second (Gbps).
 
  • For those whose eye’s have not glazed over when downloading files or Youtube clips are sized in  MegaByte (MB) and everyone knows 1 MegaByte = 8 Megabits (not)  – bringing it back to English if the B is capitalized it’s the size of the file if the b is lower case it’s the speed of the line – marketing types like bigger, faster, flashier so Internet speeds are always quote in Mbps..
 
  • Now you’ve got that, lets talk about Leased Lines – as they offer the same speeds up and down – ‘symmetrical’ in tech speak, so the quoted speeds of 100/100 don’t actually mean they are 100 Mbps upload and 100 Mbps download as that’s a given. What this quote represents is the speed of the line over the bearer, quite simply the bearer is the bandwidth size of the available line.
 
  • Your asking ‘why you should care’ we get it, but as a school’s investment in a Leased Line will take a considerable chunk of the budget it probably best to know as much as you can before you authorise the spend.
 
  • Hence  schools can be quoted 100/100 for a Leased line or 100/1000 and the connection speed that will be delivered is exactly the same 100 Mbps up and down.
 
  • The 100/100 quote will be cheaper as a 100 bearer is less expensive than a 1000 bearer, but both contracts will be for a minimum for 3 years to get the cost of actually getting the Fibre into the school written off. But and this is the really important point, if the school is growing, or expecting to radically increase its use of the devices over those 3 years then the cost of going from 100/1000 to 200/1000 or 500/1000 is relatively little and it’s a trivial technical exercise, the cost of increasing from 100/100 to 200/1000 is much more and involves some faffing about getting a new 1000 bearer installed in the exchange and moving the schools connection over.
 
  • Is ekte an ISP
 
  • No ekte is a partner with BT Wholesale, TalkTalk, KCOM, Virgin,  City Fibre, Gigaclear  and DWS which gives us the ability to look at the whole market and recommend the best solution for your needs and budget
 
  • This includes reviewing the option for saving money by Cloud enabling services such at the schools phones by moving to VOIP and removing the on-site school servers – think of a server as being the same as a school having an electricity generator on site why they are big bulky expensive to run and will need replacing, move the server to the cloud save money as you only pay for what you use, but doing so whilst struggling with an FTTC connections is not sensible
 
  • Do you supply a router or Firewall as standard?
 
  • Yes ekte are partners with a number of firewall vendors
 
  • For FTTC connections we use a Draytek 2862 which is pre-configured so arrives at the school just needing to be plugged in.
 
  •  For FTTP and Leased Lines we use Draytek 3910 or Cisco’s from their 1100 series these act as firewall routers, so are both protecting the schools network as a firewall and able to handle the Internet routing requirements.
 
  • All firewalls are pre-configured by ekte we also support and maintain them so are always monitoring their performance.
 
  • From the firewall we can also build Web Filtering tunnels and enable Remote Access via Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s)
 
  • Is Remote Access available
 
  • Yes, whenever ekte put an Internet Connection into a school we are able to deploy and manage teachers working remotely via an easy to deploy VPN.
 
  • Once installed Teachers/Administrators simply need to click an icon and will be able to work from home as if they are in the school with access to all their usual drives and resources.
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  • Do you supply a router or Firewall as standard?
 
  • Yes ekte are partners with a number of firewall vendors
 
  • For FTTC connections we use a Draytek 2862 which is pre-configured so arrives at the school just needing to be plugged in.
 
  • For FTTP and Leased Lines we use Draytek 3910 or Cisco’s from their 1100 series these act as firewall routers, so are both protecting the schools network as a firewall and able to handle the Internet routing requirements.
 
  • All firewalls are pre-configured by ekte we also support and maintain them so are always monitoring their performance.
 
  • From the firewall we can also build Web Filtering tunnels and enable Remote Access via Virtual Private Networks (VPN’s)
  • Is Remote Access available
 
  • Yes, whenever ekte put an Internet Connection into a school we are able to deploy and manage teachers working remotely via an easy to deploy VPN.
 
  • Once installed Teachers/Administrators simply need to click an icon and will be able to work from home as if they are in the school with access to all their usual drives and resources.
  • Is the ekte Web Filtering Product an IWF member
 
  • ekte partners with two different Web Filtering vendors, McAfee who have been IWF members since 2003 and iboss who have been IWF member since 2011.
 
  • Does ekte Integrate the ‘the police assessed list of unlawful terrorist content, produced on behalf of the Home Office’
 
  • Yes both McAfee and iboss incorporate the Home Office List
 
  • Why do you have two different Web Filtering options
 
  • ekte always strives to provide the right service to schools depending on their requirements and budgets, for smaller schools the ability to combine Web Filtering and AV/End Point Security in one offering – McAfee – makes sense, it simplifies the deployment and ongoing support required.
 
  • For larger schools with more diverse networks and devices, including many that will go home with pupils the iboss solution is preferred for its agent flexibility and real time reporting capabilities.
 
  • Due to school devices going home the iboss ‘weighted reporting’ on each pupils Internet activity is ideal for highlighting issues that just looking at normal usage reports would not identify.
 
  • Both offer first class web filtering, blocking all the required categories and providing details reports.
 
  • Can the school manager the Web Filtering settings
 
  • Yes ekte enable delegated administration with both of our solution offerings, this gives the schools or their 3rd party technician the ability to control the web filtering settings.
 
  • When ekte deploys a Secure Internet connection to a new Primary school we always pre-configure Web Filtering policies against three separate groups – SLT, Teacher/Admin and Pupils.
 
  • For Secondary schools, ekte will link the Web Filtering policies into the schools AD thus providing Web Filtering on a per user basis.
 
  • Does ekte offer a managed web service
 
  • For time pressed schools who realise that being able to actively manage and monitor the Web usage within the school is a worth while exercise ekte offer a fully managed service which is run by CEOP ambassadors who have advanced DBS clearance.
 
  • Schools who join this service are assured that they are receiving maximum benefit for their Web Filtering investment.
 
  • Is reporting included, can we run our own reports?
 
  • Reports can be scheduled to be delivered to the DSL or the school can build bespoke reports that are one-offs.
  • End Point Protection or AV which product do you use
 
  • ekte deploy McAfee Special schools end point protection product which includes many corporate elements of the McAfee product range making it an excellent all-encompassing offering for a very attractive price.
 
  • Isn’t changing AV/End Point Protection products difficult and time consuming
 
  • The short answer is NO, but there are certain vendors products that are more difficult to uninstall than they should be, but to deploy the McAfee Agent is very straightforward, your on site or 3rd party technician will be able to undertake the role out as part of their usual duties – it is not a ‘Project’ in any sense of the word
  • Back-Up – Is for when smelly stuff is hitting the fan, its Insurance, peace of mind but oh so critical if things go accidently wrong as the Police found https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55684320 or when you are hacked either due to a weakness in your systems or due to being maliciously targeted, it’s the same heart in the mouth moment.
 
  • So the first thing to say is have back-up and don’t do it on the cheap. You know those ‘too good to be true’ car Insurance quotes from obscure companies that look great but then are a nightmare if you actually have a prang – Yeah, pay a bit more and get a lot less stress.  At ekte we have used for a while and continue to do so ‘SolarWinds’ – yes those of the Orion hack, just Google it.
 
  • Why have we stayed with SolarWinds after the Orion Hack?
 
  • Well the back-up and Disaster Recovery (DR in Tech speak) are completely separate parts of the company with little/no code crossover, and monitoring networks is completely different to doing external companies back-ups.
 
  • SolarWinds backup is a really well put together product the GUI dashboard showing how much data is backed up, when it was backed up last etc., etc., is easy to understand and intuitive
 
  • The backup is to the cloud there are no onsite servers to buy, provision and keep running, you just send ekte a PO and we do the rest.
 
  • For the technically minded True Delta deduplication, compression, and WAN optimization help make daily backups fast by sending only changed bytes – in English, after the first full backup of everything the software then only backs up changes to existing files/documents/applications.
 
  • AES 256-bit encryption protects backup files in transit and at rest. I think the use of the word ‘rest’ is a tech in-joke here, it means when the date gets to the SolarWinds DC and is stored within its racks and racks of servers it’s  still encrypted – no shit sherlock!, why would you decrypt it and leave the data open.
 
  • Ok so every Backup product makes those claims why is SolarWinds different
 
  • Good Q, and thank you for asking, the answer is when you need it SolarWinds is there and there fast, it’s the recovery of your data when the smelly stuff is flying and how long it takes to get back up and running that is critical and this where SolarWinds excels.
 
  • SolarWinds offers  multiple recovery options for no extra charges for different recovery methods.
 
  • Leverage fast file- and folder-level recovery and full system recovery with bare-metal restore or virtual disaster recovery.
 
  • Create a standby server via our continuous recovery option.
 
  • Recover at LAN speed via the LocalSpeedVault option if needed.
 
  • Getting back up and running after an incident is the single critical issue, it’s why you back up in the first place, SolarWinds ensures everything is safe and recoverable FAST.
  • CloudSchool – What is it?
 
  • Just as schools no longer have an electricity generator on site they do not need ICT servers on site.
 
  • CloudSchool introduces schools to Infrastructure as a Service where a school only pays for what it needs, no longer do you buy great big servers that are noisy, overheat and break, now all the applications, software and techie stuff that used to ‘have’ to be installed on a physical server can be deployed to multiple servers in Data Centres across the UK.
 
  • This gives school more resiliency, and more certainty of costs, with all the schools network deployed across multiple servers scalability is a given.
 
  • Perhaps the most important operational benefit of CloudSchool, is the premade Education IT system. Simply add the unique parts of your IT requirements to our readymade and proven IT build for an out of the box, enterprise school solution.
 
  • Moving to CloudSchool enhances both physical and virtual IT security through enterprise data centres, 24/7 monitoring and a change/quality control facility for any requested firewall changes.
 
  • Free your IT team from completing regular hardware checks and preventative maintenance on your server infrastructure and supporting equipment. Instead, they can fully dedicate their time to your end users.
 
  • Reduced IT support requirement With a pre-configured, CloudSchool system you will no longer require a high-level technical resource employed at each partner site. Instead, your IT team will be made up with customer/user focused engineers that do not need to maintain expertise in server and wide area network technology.
 
  • Focus on IT strategy Instead of a portion of the IT strategy time being dedicated to the road map of each individual school’s IT infrastructure, it can instead be focused more on strategy that directly benefits teaching and learning.
  • Our phones are perfectly fine why do we need to upgrade
 
  • The current BT PBX based system is being switched off in 2025 (its analogue and goes over copper) as using the infrastructure  built for Internet connections allows for calls to go over IP –  VOIP actually stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol
 
  • By upgrading you move from just having the ability to have a phone to unified communications.
 
  • What does Unified Communications Mean?
 
  • It’s a marketing term for the bringing together of voice, video, instant messaging, conference call and voicemail.
 
  • As it’s an Internet Call where and to whom the call can be transferred is infinitely flexible, also the type of device the call can be transferred to.
 
  • Unified comms means having an app on your mobile that is for school calls – so no matter where you are the school can forward a call to you, and you can make calls as if you were in the school.
 
  • Are there any other benefits
 
  • Cost – is the biggest one, simply put moving to a VOIP from ekte who use the market leading supplier 3CX will save the school money.
 
  • 3CX is an open-platform, IP Telephony system that works with popular IP Phones and SIP trunks whether on-premise or in the cloud. With 3CX, your telco phone bill will be slashed, and so will the cost of buying, expanding, and maintaining your VoIP phone system.
 
  • ekte will work with the school to design the new phone service to suit the schools needs, where are devices needed, after the Heads number rings 5 times calls are diverted to the heads assistant in the office 
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