The Technical Challenge
Shenington Church of England Primary is a small school located in rural Oxfordshire near to Banbury. We have 92 students on roll. Our rural location means that we have always had a low speed FTTC connection. Staff and pupils at Shenington Primary School needed an affordable and faster full fibre broadband connection.
We were identified by the Department for Education as eligible for the UK Government’s RGC (Rural Gigabit Connectivity Scheme). This meant that we could access funding for the installation of full fibre broadband.
The Full Fibre Process
The DfE advised us to run a mini-competition for ultrafast gigabit-capable broadband and internet filtering services. E2BN Internet4schools offered the best value and an eventual upgrade to a 160Mbs/30Mbs full fibre service.
The RGC scheme usually requires fibre providers to build new full fibre infrastructure from scratch. E2BN Internet4schools site survey revealed that a temporary solution using the existing broadband line could be put in place until OpenReach have installed their fibre infrastructure into the village. E2BN Internet4schools then scheduled a migration of service that was convenient for us as a school.
An Unexpected Complication
By this time the CoViD19 pandemic was upon us. Despite the lock down, the migration went ahead. E2BN Internet4schools engineers installed the firewall and Protex Web Filtering under strict social-distancing protocols.
We had terminated our school IT support contract at the same time as we ended our previous broadband contract. As the school’s IT manager I now had responsibility for deploying new proxy settings and group policies whilst having to also implement remote access for colleagues due to the Covid-19 pandemic. E2BN Internet4schools’ engineers were able to help. As part of the migration service they advised on proxy settings and group policies. E2BN also suggested we use their free of charge Remote VPN solution for staff working from home.
The Full Fibre Outcome
E2BN will continue to manage the project through to completion and until OpenReach have installed their full fibre infrastructure into the village. Then they will swap copper line for a future-proofed ultrafast FTTP service at 160Mbs download and 30Mbs upload.
Paula Musekiwa, IT Cordinator, Shenington C of E (VA) Primary School, Oxfordshire