ICT Services 4 Education


School ICT News Bulletin No. 229 - 18/10/2013

Published by ICT Shared Services

Schools' Broadband Service - Upgrade Project and Operational Update

Broadband Upgrade Project

In MI sheet 181/13 we advised you of the improved ICT services for schools by delivering changes to internet infrastructure and bandwidth performance for Norfolk schools and academies. These essential changes will help ensure that the shared infrastructure is able to support the educational and business needs of Norfolk Schools.


Where are we now?

Internet Access

 We said we will double the shared internet bandwidth provision from 1Gb to 2Gb to improve performance in all schools.

The joint project team from ICT Shared Services and BT is currently undertaking a number of important infrastructure upgrades that will enable the shared internet core provision to be increased from 1Gb and 2Gb. This work is planned to be undertaken by mid-November.

We also said:

  • Broadband links for secondary schools and academies

The current access circuit for secondary schools and academies will be given their full quota of 100Mb. This re-configuration will be prioritised early in the rollout before any new circuits are installed.

  • Broadband links for primary and special schools and academies

The current access circuit for primary and special schools and academies will be given their full quota of 10Mb and not be throttled back to 2Mb or 4Mb as is currently the case.

Following the internet upgrade described above we will be implementing a phased programme of bandwidth de-throttling:

  • Secondary schools and academies will have their current rate limit removed to allow the full 100Mb bandwidth
  • Primary, special schools and academies with 10MB links will have their current rate limit removed to allow the full 10Mb bandwidth
  • Primary schools with Learning Stream Circuits

We said that in order to improve bandwidth to primary schools that will remain on 2Mb Learning Stream due to current limitations in access technologies, we will deploy an additional link to increase bandwidth to these sites.

  • The first pilot installation is currently being carried out.

Superfast Broadband upgrades and other infrastructure changes

We previously said:

The majority of primary and special schools which currently have a 10Mb circuit will move to “superfast connect” which will provide speeds up to 30Mb and above depending on how close they are located to the exchange. Superfast access to 79 primary schools will be part of the initial announced rollout, with a further 181 schools to move to superfast in line with the implementation of Superfast broadband across Norfolk.

Please continue to review the status relating to your school by using the progress tracker.

Operational Service

From an operational perspective we continue to monitor the performance of the broadband service to prioritise the delivery of educational resources and school management services during the school day.

Where necessary we have implemented policies that will restrict and move maintenance activities, such as software updates, to occur outside of the school day as these have a significant impact and impede the overall performance of the broadband service. This reflects industry best practice.

Our primary objective is to ensure that the available capacity is utilised in a manner that maximises the learning outcomes for Norfolk schools and their pupils and also delivers services which are business critical for schools.

Created on: 18/10/2013 09:12:55