ICT Services 4 Education


School ICT News Bulletin No. 188 - 21/07/2011

Published by ICT Shared Services

Important Message: Schools Internet Service Provision

Norfolk Schools Internet eXchange (NSIX) Service Improvement

Executive Summary

As part of the ongoing work to improve ICT services to schools, ICT Shared Services together with BT are investing significant effort and resources to address Internet performance issues that schools have raised during consultation. 

A major component of this service improvement is the relocation of the core Internet Service Provision (ISP) from the Baynard House Data Centre in London to Norfolk.  The outcome for schools will be an increase in Internet performance from 300 Mbp/s to 1 Gbp/s.

After consultation with a number of schools, Network Managers and Children’s Services, it was agreed that the least disruptive period in which to undertake this major service improvement work is the August 2011 Bank Holiday.  Otherwise we would not be able to schedule this work until sometime in 2012.

Detailed Service Improvement Information

The Internet service provision and some NSIX services will be unavailable from 5PM on Friday 26th August 2011 until 8AM on Tuesday 30th August 2011.  

We would like to reassure schools that we have consulted upon and as a result prioritised the order in which services will be restored as follows:

1)    Internet access with Internet content filtering and Antivirus scanning;

2)    Post-holder (Generic) Email and Antispam – Microsoft Unified Communications & Collaboration (Exchange and Outlook) and MessageLabs service*;

3)    Mail Transport Services – to enable the sending and receiving of email from locally hosted email servers**;

4)    Website hosting service

5)    Community ISP service

6)    Reporting service

* Please note that any email sent or received during the period of disruption will be stored by the MessageLabs service and delivered when the email service is available.

** Email sent to schools hosting their own email server will bounce while the Mail Transport Services are unavailable with an automated message returned to the sender.

Where a school hosts their Management Information System (MIS) locally – at school – access will continue to be available throughout the service improvement period.  However, access to MIS patches and updates may be disrupted.

Services that are unaffected

There are a number of critical services that are not affected by this service improvement work.  You can continue to access these services from Internet connected locations such as libraries, home, etc.  These services include:

·         Google Apps for Education (Email and Google VLE);

·         Fronter Learning Platform;

·         Capita SIMS Hosted MIS;

·         Identity Management service;

·         Systems Interoperability Framework (SIF) service.

In addition the AVCO Anycomms Secure Data Transfer (SDT) service will continue to be available from school.

We thank you sincerely for your feedback and cooperation and we look forward to an enhanced service in the new Academic Year.

Feedback to Jeffrey Jones at jeff.jones@norfolk.gov.uk

Author: Michael Pickett