The best practice when procuring and renewing school internet.
Coconnect is a specialist provider of school broadband and filtering solutions. Since the DFE announced recommendations for schools and colleges to move to full-fibre connectivity as soon as possible, we felt it would be helpful to produce an informative blog about the best practice when procuring and renewing school internet services.
School internet procuring best practice:
Do your research.
First and foremost, the starting point of any procurement of services is research; understand how many and what type of users will be connected to the network and how this will change over time to establish the required download and upload speed and the type of connectivity. required
In addition, the DFE have stated primary schools should have a minimum of 100Mbps download and 30Mbps upload speed; Secondary schools should have a connection with the capacity to deliver 1Gbps upload and download speed. Please read our full summary of the DFE recommendations here.
Check additional services you need.
School internet is just one service a school internet provider (ISP) will provide; all schools should have content filtering that meets the regulatory standards. School internet providers can also provide broadband filtering in partnership with filtering providers.
Going through one supplier is a benefit because it is one point of contact to fix issues, plus a specialist school ISP can provide more tailored support.
Work out installation date and migration date.
It is essential to find an installation and migration date that does not hinder school learning and is timed around the current contract end date. It takes time to plan any additional infrastructure, such as fibre lines, that might require Open Reach to undertake works that could extend the timescales. Summer would be ideal for any installation and migration, but anytime during a school holiday would ensure students and staff are not impacted by the installation or migration.
Select a preferred supplier school internet provider.
A useful tip when deciding on a preferred supplier is to ask schools in the area on who they are with, and their experience plus look at providers customer reviews to see if they can deliver what they promise.
Keep everyone internally in the loop.
Keeping everyone in the loop throughout the process is essential; it will reduce the chances of delays. All users will know about the new solution, which can speed up training on systems such as a new filtering solution.
Don’t just focus on the price factor in the quality of service.
Broadband is an education essential, without it schools can not operate fully. Therefore, it is not a place to compromise on quality of service or your providers specialist expertise. Often in this market the price matches the service and it is important to get exactly what you need and now and for the future.
School Internet renewals best practice:
Before renewing with your supplier, check whether there was an auto-renewal as part of the contract. It is good practice to cancel any auto-renewals because it gives your school options and time to communicate and resolve any problems with the provider’s service without already being tied down.
Check service received vs what was promised.
Check your school internet performance over the contract to ensure you have paid for exactly what was promised if the service is unsatisfactory for the price paid, the renewal quote can be cheaper.
Keep in contact with your school internet provider six months before renewal.
Start working with your supplier at least 6 months before your renewal. Have the discussions as soon as possible to ensure that there is time to make changes to the service or plan add-on services that can be bundled into the renewal.
Get additional quotes to get a price comparison.
It is best practice to get 3 quotes for renewals based. Renewing can be a formality when you’re 100% happy with the service but it can be the case providers increase prices when they are confident you will not look elsewhere. Additional quotes can help negotiate a renewal price down. Also be careful of any quote that is hugely more or less than the average, there will be a reason and suppliers that underbid, won’t be able to deliver long term.
Keep everyone internally in the loop.
Like when procuring school internet, it is best to keep everyone in the loop about renewing as this can improve the time it takes for sign off and no delays for any new additional add-on services.
In summary, keeping to these valuable tips can improve procuring and renewing school internet. Coconnect is always happy to help and answer any questions on the school internet, and below is a small list of our capabilities.
- Coconnect can provide a safe, secure, and reliable connection that meets the new DFE recommendations.
- Industry-leading broadband filtering and safeguarding solution in partnership with Smoothwall, Netsweeper and Senso.
- Additional cloud services include managed VoIP phone systems, remote devices, network management, office 365 backup, etc., creating a full cloud IT strategy.
- Market-leading SLAs and support from a team of expert engineers