We are working with a number of schools at the moment and the feedback we are hearing is that schools wished they knew the right questions to ask when renewing their internet connection as many had stayed with the Local Authority (LA) connection as they thought this was the most cost effective and best for the school.
We have compiled five questions to ask and options to consider when negotiating your contract.
1. What is the contract period?
Many LA’s tie you in for a long-term contract, which on the one hand gives you a certain level security with your service provider, but on the other, especially if you are tied in for many years, the risk that the level of service you once enjoyed starts to disappear as people move jobs and you end up dealing with someone new. We recommend you ask for a break clause to be included or at the very least a clause which gives you the opportunity to review the service after a number of years.
2. What is the connection speed going to be and will it be affected by high volume usage?
You want to ensure your assemblies and lessons run smoothly and that teaching performance is not affected by a slow internet connection. Ideally you should be looking at a fibre connection that can deliver 1gb connectivity
3. Does the service agreement include regular security updates?
Student and staff on-line safety is paramount and you must make sure that any service level agreement with your internet provider updates your security software on a regular basis. It is also important to make sure that any browser filters in place are also kept current and up to date. Unfortunately in the world we live in today, threats to security are always changing and the security software in place must be able to cope with that. HBT works with specialist partners who specialise in security software for schools. They have a dedicated development team and regularly release software updates, which can be implemented without the end-user being aware of any changes.
4. Will your school data be regularly backed-up and will a restore procedure be in place?
It is always best to plan for the unexpected. You need to know that if the worst does happen and your IT system crashes and data is lost, you can be back up and running as quickly and as smoothly as possible with minimum disruption to lessons.
5. Will you have access to the right level of support?
Alongside connection speed and security, a reliable level of service is also an important requirement. You need to have peace of mind that the support service in place can resolve and problems swiftly and as efficiently as possible.
HBT is always here to answer any questions you have and we can also carry out a site visit and produce a no-obligation audit of your requirements. Call us today on 02476 867 422.