Internet Connectivity and LGfL Support 

Internet connectivity is one of the most important elements of your IT; web-based MIS platforms, on-line learning, internet research, communication, security updates and even remote IT Support- just about everything relies on access to the internet. Given the pressure on schools to excel operationally at every level whether its creation and distribution of lesson timetables, registration windows or timely parental communication- a high bandwidth, low latency, uncontended connection to the internet is key in underpinning both your teaching and administration. 
 

Internet Connectivity and LGfL Support 

Internet connectivity is one of the most important elements of your IT; web-based MIS platforms, on-line learning, internet research, communication, security updates and even remote IT Support- just about everything relies on access to the internet. Given the pressure on schools to excel operationally at every level whether its creation and distribution of lesson timetables, registration windows or timely parental communication- a high bandwidth, low latency, uncontended connection to the internet is key in underpinning both your teaching and administration. 

What an Internet connection is and is not? 

There are a lot of ways to get a connection to the internet, some good some better, but it’s important that you know what you do and don’t get with your connection.

Service Level (SLA)

Keep an eye on this. There are two areas of the service level that you want to be clear on. Firstly, the quality, uptime guarantees, contention, bandwidth etc. Schools need high quality services to support classrooms full of computers all doing the same thing at the same time, don’t underestimate the importance of this in your decision-making process.

Secondly, find out how effective the suppliers support service is- how proactive are they at supporting their customers when a problem occurs and how quickly are problems resolved? Most internet connections are good when they are working- it is when they stop working and you have to rely on the supplier to get you back up and running that the real service begins.

Security – it’s the wild west out there

Security is a key area you should address before connecting anything to the internet. A High-speed connection is all well and good- but if you don’t have a secure system in place, you are leaving your school and data exposed to cybercriminals. Suppliers like LGfL provide a fully secure and firewalled service, you can plug it in and start using it with the confidence and knowledge that firewalls, safeguarding and data security have all been considered and a generous baseline of safe and good practices are already in place.

Other suppliers may provide you a high-quality internet connection that is just that- a super-fast and highly reliable internet connection. If you opt for an option like this, you will have to manage your own security and firewall to ensure the internet is open to your school and not vice versa.

Of course, there are also several suppliers providing services that sit somewhere in between the above. Just ensure when you are looking for internet, you compare apples with apples. A cheaper connection that requires you to purchase, manage and maintain a separate firewall, may not work out as cheap in the long run.

Email

It’s still as important as ever and if your school or MAT has embraced a cloud platform like Google or MS 365 then you probably have all the email that you need.  But if you have not and you rely on your ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) email system for your school, then make sure you have a good one – We would strongly advise considering a dedicated service though such as Google or MS 365. Changing ISP when your email is linked to their systems can make a simple job very complicated indeed

Content

This is not unique to LGfL but it’s fair to say no other UK service provider puts as much time, effort or money into procuring and creating market leading online education content. {link to https://www.lgfl.net/learning-resources/grid} – There is a lot of content available on the internet and not everything is for everyone. But consider what you use, what you like and what you might be able to get access to via your ISP

Value Add

Check out what else you may get through your internet service contract; this may be some of the services mentioned above or perhaps the supplier has a partnership with other education services and you can recognise value across multiple areas.

We don’t intend to sound like a broken record, but LGfL bundles a vast array of value-add services into their subscription including site wide Anti-Virus, MDM (Mobile Device Management) licences, Adobe subscriptions and many more. Some of these services are free and other are vastly discounted. So before making any final decisions just make sure you consider the full value of your service.

How can Cygnet help?
As you may have noted, we do champion the LGfL services and being we are a registered support provider this might not surprise you. But they are not the only ISP we work with; we work with and support any and every internet connection in schools and will always provide you unbiased advice as to what service could best suit your school or MAT.  If you are considering your options, then give us a call.  We will take the time to ask you the necessary questions to help determine your options and support you in making a decision. After all internet connections can come with 3 or more-year contracts, so you want to ensure you get the right one! 
To discuss this service further and find out how we can help you, please contact us!

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