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BT Leased Lines in Education: Advantages for Schools and Universities

BT Leased Lines in Education: Advantages for Schools and Universities

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BT leased lines (BTnet) are popular with educational institutions across the UK to help their staff and students  stay at the forefront of the digital revolution across the academic sector. The reason BTnet services are selected by schools and Universities is largely because of the BTnet SLA guarantees across uptime, network performance and support, all of which are important for real-time virtual classes and uninterrupted access to online resources.

The education sector has witnessed significant technological advancements over the past decade due to a shift from traditional classrooms to more blended learning environments. This transition has been facilitated by the growth of e-learning platforms, online courses and interactive technologies that have transformed the way students and educators approach education.

Key Takeaways

  • Reliable internet connectivity is essential for the growing adoption of e-learning platforms and online courses.
  • BT Leased Lines provide dedicated Internet connections for schools and universities.
  • Enhanced cybersecurity, customised installation and scalability make BT Leased Lines a strong choice for educational institutions of all sizes.
  • Cybersecurity is critically important for the education sector to support BYoD (Bring your own device) across home-working and the campus.

Summary_ BT Leased Lines in Education@2x

Why Choose BT Leased Lines in Education

Leased line services are used to power online platforms which includes platforms such as the Learning Management Systems (LMS), e.g. Moodle and Blackboard. These platforms have become central to delivering educational content efficiently and effectively. When students engage with academic Cloud applications, there needs to be consistent and reliable performance to avoid disruptions during live sessions.

BT Leased Lines are chosen because the service provides symmetrical bandwidth, a 5-hour fix time, 100% uptime guarantee, latency & jitter network performance guarantees and recognition from Netcraft as the number 1 UK leased line. In addition, partnerships with Meraki and Fortinet offer comprehensive Cybersecurity to safeguard sensitive information and users access.

Reporting across bandwidth usage together with an interface into the Meraki or Fortnet management portal all ensure that the school or university is always receiving the best possible network performance and security.

Another advantage of BTnet leased lines (and leased lines in general) is the absence of slowdowns during peak usage times. This ensures students and staff have uninterrupted access to educational resources and platforms whenever they are required. BT operates one of the most expansive UK and Global backbones with over 70% of ISP's peering with BT's network ensuring excellent network coverage and performance.

Customer support is important to education with base level needs requiring 24/7 technical assistance and dedicated account management which are provided by the BTnet product.

Why the BT Leased Line SLA is Important for schools and Universities

One key aspect of the BTnet SLA is the 100% target service availability mentioned earlier, which guarantees uninterrupted access to online educational resources. This level of availability is essential for smooth virtual classrooms and online exams. If BT fail to meet their 100% uptime SLA, educational institutions will receive money-back credits which adds further value to their budgets. Detailed conditions of the SLA can be found at bt.com/terms.

BTnet is committed to delivering their service on or before the customer committed date (CCD) which ensures the School or University is aware of their go-live date. If the CCD isn't met, discounts are offered to educational institutions for the inconvenience. However, the on-time delivery SLA doesn't apply to service upgrades or changes.

Number of Working Days Beyond CCD Reduction in Connection Charges
1-10 working days 5%
11-15 working days 10%
16-20 working days 15%
More than 20 working days 20%

Another essential aspect of reliability is network latency, which needs to be low to ensure smooth communication in real-time during online classes, video conferences, and research data transfers. BTnet offers a service latency guarantee that meets the needs of education institutions. Regular latency checks and transparent reporting keep them informed, and discounts are provided if latency guarantees are not met.

Network Connection Latency Guarantee
The UK core network connection The latency guarantee is an average round-trip transmission time of 20 milliseconds or less between BT selected core Point of Presence (PoP) in the BT network.
The transatlantic network connection The latency guarantee is an average round-trip transmission time of 95 milliseconds or less between designated transit routers at each end of the transatlantic link.

Transparent billing is important for budgeting in educational institutions. BTnet's SLA ensures that approved reductions and discounts are promptly applied, helping institutions allocate funds efficiently. The BTnet billing team provide clear definitions of terms, examples of which are: Customer committed date (CCD), Managed customer premises equipment (CPE) and Point of Presence (PoP).

The comprehensive SLA offered by BTnet ensures a dependable internet connection, suitable for online learning, research and administrative tasks while offering value for their investment.

BT Leased Lines - Cybersecurity for schools and Universities

The growing importance of cybersecurity in education is directly connected to the increasing reliance on digital platforms and tools. As educational institutions integrate more digital tools, a stable and secure digital environment becomes crucial for uninterrupted learning. The rise of cyber threats targeting schools and universities puts vast amounts of sensitive data at risk which means robust cybersecurity is essential to protect students and faculty.

BTnet offers Meraki and Fortinet SASE Security products to provide comprehensive protection which offers advanced firewall protection to safeguard online class sessions and digital exams. Real-time monitoring of network traffic enables quick detection and neutralisation of threats ensures that educational processes remain uninterrupted. With granular control over inbound and outbound traffic, academic institutions can manage what content is accessible to students while virus scanning keeps malware in check.

Web filtering allows institutions to control the type of educational content accessed and prevent harmful content from reaching students. Customisable filters can be tailored to specific the School or University policies which ensures the right balance between freedom and security.

Integrating SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) Security aspects into BTnet Leased Lines creates an all encompassing Cybersecurity capability which offers everything an academic facility requires. The convergence of network and security services into one comprehensive BTnet leased line package ensures a smooth user experience without compromising on security. Meraki and Fortinet products are cloud-based security solutions so management and updates are simplified.

As education continues to evolve digitally, BTnet Leased Lines with Meraki and Fortinet SASE Security will continue to evolve.

BT Leased Line School and University Installation Process

Initial Site Survey

After an educational institution places an order for a BT Leased Line, Openreach conducts a survey to assess the overall leased line build. If the survey indicates extensive work is needed, the institution has the option to cancel the order without any penalties.

The Openreach site survey will outline potential challenges which includes road closures, way leave or construction requirements such as digs. Based on the survey, BT plans the best route for the circuit - if there's a secondary circuit, Openreach will plan for diversity. Early identification of potential challenges ensures smooth online classes, examinations and research activities.

Planning Permissions and Wayleave Agreements

Permissions are essential when infrastructural changes are needed on campus, examples include laying cables or setting up poles. Delays might arise due to administrative processes or legal contractual requirements which could impact the academic calendar. Openreach ensures all permissions are in place before starting the installation to ensure no interruptions to the academic schedule. Timely permissions mean seamless online education which is vital for lectures, exams and research projects.

Civil Engineering Work

The process involves groundwork like trenching for cables needed to connect the leased line. Permissions are sought for any excavations on campus grounds or nearby areas. Fibre-optic cables connect the School or University to the BT exchange.

Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) Installation

The choice of router is based on the institution's bandwidth needs and desired features. As previously mentioned, BT provides Meraki and Fortinet but also standard Cisco routers. With all options, the edge devices are configured and tested before handing over to the School or university IT team.

Circuit Configuration and Testing

Before finalising the connection, BT conducts thorough tests to ensure optimal performance for the institution. These tests ensures that online classes, exams and research activities experience minimal disruptions. 

BT Leased Lines for Large University Campus Locations vs Smaller schools

Large University Campuses with BTnet Leased Lines and Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi can benefit from an adaptive network infrastructure. Meraki's cloud-managed wireless is designed to adapt to the diverse needs of a large campus from lecture halls to research labs. This is combined with proactive network health insights, where Meraki Health - powered by machine-learning engines - provides proactive insights and automatic remediation to ensure maximum uptime.

These larger educational institutions can also count on optimised performance. Meraki continually optimises network performance as capacity, traffic and utilisation change to ensure that large numbers of users get consistent speeds. The combination of advanced threat detection and automated security is especially crucial for universities with vast amounts of sensitive data. Meraki identifies threats and anomalies in real-time which provides  immediate detection and neutralisation. And when combined with BTnet's dedicated and private connections, Meraki's automatic policy enforcement and built-in DNS protection can ensure a secure digital environment for the university.

Lastly, large campuses require scalable solutions. As universities expand, Meraki Wi-Fi access points, combined with BTnet Leased Lines can be scaled to meet growing demands without compromising on security or speed.

In comparison, smaller school sites such as primary schools and secondary schools can also benefit from BTnet Leased Lines and Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi. These smaller campus locations benefit from simplified network management as Meraki's cloud-managed approach allows smaller schools to have a robust network without the complexities of traditional setups.

Smaller schools also need robust security features. Meraki offers built-in security features which includes identity-based access control, built-in DNS protection and automated network firmware updates to protect their students and staff without needing advanced IT expertise.

Regardless of campus size, immediate threat response provided by Meraki's real-time threat detection and neutralisation will ensure that even smaller networks are protected from potential cyber threats. 

Budget and Funding Considerations

When considering BT Leased Lines for educational institutions, schools and universities need to take into account budget and funding options. With a variety of speed options and contract lengths available, institutions can choose the most suitable plan to match their budgetary constraints and capital expenditure requirements.

For example, BT offers contract terms of 3 years and 5 years that provide a range of speed and router options. A 3-year contract with a 100Mbps connection and a Cisco 800Mb router costs £325/month, while a 5-year contract for the same speed and router is priced at £275/month. Opting for a longer contract can result in significant savings on the monthly cost.

To provide a broader perspective, here are some examples of pricing options:

  • 3-Year Contract for 500 Mbps: £395/month with a Cisco 800Mb router or £535/month with a Cisco Meraki 1Gb router
  • 5-Year Contract for 1000 Mbps: £495/month with a Cisco up to 1Gb router or £495/month with a Cisco Meraki 1Gb router

Educational institutions can also benefit from discounts provided by Netify, an Authorised Partner of BT Business and the largest distributor of BT Business services in the UK. This partnership allows Netify to offer tailored services to various sectors including education. Discounts are specifically available for UK schools and universities on BTnet, Meraki and Fortinet services.

Budget and Funding Considerations for BT Leased Lines in Education@2x

Frequently Asked Questions

How do BT leased lines improve connectivity for schools and universities?

BT leased lines provide dedicated, reliable and fast internet access for educational institutions. They ensure consistent connectivity and high-speed performance which is critical for schools and universities conducting online learning and utilising digital resources. BT leased lines prevent network congestion and deliver low latency which is the enabler to a smoother user experience for both students and staff.

What are the advantages of using BT leased lines in the education sector?

There are several advantages to using BT leased lines in the education sector, including increased reliability, consistent high-speed connectivity and improved security from Meraki and Fortinet. These benefits allow educators to offer a better-quality learning experience as BTnet Leased Lines enable seamless access to online resources and support collaboration between students and staff. BT leased lines offer reduced downtime compared to other ISPs which ensures minimal disruption to the learning process.

How does BTnet support e-learning initiatives?

BTnet enables access to online learning platforms, digital resources and collaboration tools which are essential for driving digital transformation within the education sector. With a solid foundation of connectivity, BTnet enables educational institutions to implement and maintain cutting-edge e-learning initiatives.

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