ICT Services 4 Education


School ICT News Bulletin No. 292 - 16/04/2021

Published by ICT Solutions

eBulletin Items

  1. LoRaWAN – Long Range Wide Area Network – Can you help?
  2. LFFN (Local Full Fibre Network) Evaluation Survey
  3. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Norfolk Schools Targeted Mandate Fraud

1. LoRaWAN – Long Range Wide Area Network – Can you help?

Help us create the UK’s largest Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN).  We are looking for locations such as school buildings to install a gateway to increase the coverage of the network across the county.

The Norfolk and Suffolk Innovation Network is the largest free public sector LoRaWAN deployment in the UK, funded by the Local enterprise partnership it delivers county wide connectivity to support large amounts of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors across the county.

It has the overall objective of kick-starting innovation in the region and enabling local business, schools, colleges and individuals to learn, trial, prototype and develop IoT services with this new technology.

What is it used for?

We are currently working closely with Adult Social Services to identify where the network can be used to help vulnerable people throughout your communities.

The network is also already being used for such things as Crop Management at Ben Burgess monitoring crop growth, water precipitation, soil dynamics; If your school has an allotment/gardening project maybe we can help install similar sensors to the ones being utilised by Ben Burgess. School children of all ages have been using IoT to create projects; NCC and ICT Solutions will be working in collaboration to encourage the usage of IoT throughout schools in Norfolk. Using Arduino boards, it's possible for children to create sensors for a multitude of things i.e. air quality sensors, rainfall sensors.

Other uses across the county include water level monitoring on the Norfolk Broads, desk occupancy and road temperature sensors to support the winter gritting but has unlimited applications. We are also looking to support air quality management, farm protection, flood awareness and many other use cases to support the county. We have held some events which might be useful in providing more information and there is lots of information on our YouTube channel.

Previously we held a Launch Event and that can be viewed here


We also produced some videos, filmed with businesses and council services already making use of the network.


What is the gateway device, and have you installed any already?

The gateway itself is approximately the size of a home router/tablet/small laptop with an antenna approximate 0.60m in length. These gateways run on Power Over Ethernet (POE) so require an ethernet connection to them. They work on 'line of sight' so higher buildings work best.

We have already had these devices installed at 50 locations including Rackheath Primary School, Magdalen Gates Primary School, Mile Cross Primary School, Coltishall Primary School, Thorpe High School, Broadland Academy in Hoveton, Alderman Peel High School, Springwood High School and we are currently speaking with several other Trusts, schools and academies throughout Norfolk.   We also have gateways installed at Norwich County Hall, Norwich Millennium Library, Gressenhall Museum, Kings’ Lynn, Dereham, Swaffham, Great Yarmouth, Wroxham, Acle, N Walsham, Aylsham plus several other Fire Stations throughout Norfolk but are looking for further suitable buildings to help this project and provide the network across the county. A full coverage map can be found at https://ttnmapper.org/

Health and Safety

Please note that the frequency of this equipment will not interfere with CCTV or any other wireless equipment. All of the installs are carried out with completed Risk Assessment and Method Statements plus the Council Legal Department has drawn up a letter explaining that the council must cover all costs for the install and continued maintenance of these devices and that we'd be liable in the event of any damage as a result of these installs. There is no downtime of network or your buildings services during the installs.

Contact Us

I hope that this explains a little about what we'd like to do and the next step, if you'd allow us, is for me to arrange a suitable and convenient time for myself and possibly an engineer to visit the site to see if what we are proposing is actually viable. We will, of course, adhere to any site rules and any other regulations currently determined by COVID-19.

Please contact me to discuss further or arrange a site visit.

Steve Boyd, IMT Project Lead
Tel: 01603 224415


2. LFFN (Local Full Fibre Network) Evaluation Survey

Please could we kindly remind you to complete your evaluation survey if your network connection has recently been upgraded to a FTTP (fibre to the premise) service.

A link to the online survey would have been sent via email to the main site contact following the activation of the new service.

The survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete and will help to inform central government of the benefits that schools will receive from access to gigabit technology. This could be identifying greater efficiencies with faster connections or enabling the use of more cloud-based services.

In line with the funding conditions to improve the fibre infrastructure across the County, we will also be sending a short follow up survey next year to capture any additional benefits or improvements. 

If you need more details or a reminder of the link please contact - ict@norfolk.gov.uk. Thank you for your help and assistance.


3. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Norfolk Schools Targeted Mandate Fraud

We are sharing the below information on behalf of our colleagues at Educator Solutions -


Norfolk Schools are experiencing targeted fraudulent activity by criminals who are purporting to be genuine suppliers requesting bank details to be changed on invoices for payment. One instance has been identified concerning the company:


Sportsafe UK LTD


Emails purporting to be from this company have been received from MWhite@sportssafeuk.com (note the additional 's' in the email address). The emails do not originate from Sportsafe UK LTD and you should not respond. 


Should you receive an invoice for payment that appears to be from the genuine supplier please ensure you verify the invoice is genuine using the below advice. The supplier has confirmed their bank details have not changed, so should you receive a request to change bank details; it is likely to be false.


  • Verify all invoices, as well as requests to change bank account details. To check that a request is legitimate, contact the supplier directly using established contact details you have on file.                                                           
  • (DO NOT USE THE CONTACT DETAILS PROVIDED ON AN AMENDED INVOICE OR BANK MANDATE CHANGE REQUEST TO CONTACT THE SUPPLIER)                                                                                                                          
  • Mandate fraud is when someone gets you to change a direct debit, standing order or BACS payment details, by purporting to be an organisation you make payments to, for example a contractor or supplier.                                                        
  • Notify your bank and Educator Solutions immediately if you see any unusual activity on your account or suspect mandate fraud has occurred.


How can Mandate fraud occur (examples)?


  • You receive a call, email, letter, amended (or unexpected) invoice from someone pretending to be a genuine supplier/contractor. They provide details of a new bank account and asks you to change the payment details to reflect this. The payment details are then amended on the school’s finance system. The following month you receive communication from the genuine supplier/contractor because they never received payment for their invoice.                                                                                                                        
  • You are contacted by someone pretending to be from an organisation you have a standing order with and request you change the order to reflect a change in their banking.  The standing order mandate is changed accordingly but next month the actual organisation fails to deliver your products, or a membership has been cancelled as they did not receive their payment.


Advice to avoid Mandate fraud


  • Verify all invoices, as well as requests to change bank account details. To check that a request is legitimate, contact the supplier directly using established contact details you have on file.                                                                                                           
  • (DO NOT USE THE CONTACT DETAILS PROVIDED ON AN AMENDED INVOICE OR BANK MANDATE CHANGE REQUEST TO CONTACT THE SUPPLIER)                                                                                                                          
  • Access to sensitive financial information should be carefully controlled. Don't dispose of confidential documents without shredding them first.                                       
  • Check your bank statements regularly for any suspicious transactions. If you notice anything unusual, notify your bank immediately.                                       
  • Ensure you internal policies are up to date with the above advice and that staff are trained appropriately