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Schools Broadband - Latest News

Page last updated: 22/10/2019

Please find below the latest updates for the Schools Broadband Service:
 
September 2019
 
Schools Broadband Notice of Service Cancellation 31st March 2020
 
 

Essex County Council have facilitated the delivery of Broadband to Schools in Essex for a number of years, the latest contract with DUCL commenced in 2013.  At the time the contract was negotiated and implemented, 99% of schools in Essex purchased the Service.  Over the last six years the landscape of schools in Essex has changed significantly, as has the market for broadband, and many schools that were maintained by ECC have converted into academies and have chosen alternative broadband providers for service improvement and financial reasons. As a result costs for those schools remaining under the DUCL contract are increasing and this leaves the current contract presenting a financial risk to schools over the remaining period of the contract. 

 

Over the past two years, ECC have been working with the Schools Forum Broadband Sub Committee, set up at the request of the Schools Forum, to consider various options for the continuation of the Schools Broadband Contract in order to maintain service delivery and to mitigate the associated financial implications.  At the 10th July Schools Forum meeting the findings of this work were presented and it was unanimously agreed that ECC maintained primary schools would cease to de-delegate the DSG to take into account payment for the Service from 1st April 2020. As a result of this decision a final paper was presented to Cabinet on Monday 16th September recommending withdrawal from the schools element of the DUCL contract with effect from 1st April 2020. Schools (both Academies and LA Maintained) currently purchasing and receiving services through this contract will therefore be required to contract with another supplier to provide this for them from 1st April 2020. 

 

We understand that this decision may cause concern but Essex are clear that broadband is a necessity to deliver the curriculum and therefore we are committed to supporting you through the next 6 months to ensure the service is not interrupted. 

 

The Schools Broadband Team have updated their pages on Infolink to include information to support you through the next 6 months, including a termination checklist which will help guide you on what to look out for when considering broadband proposals to ensure you have the provision you need in place in time for 1st April next year. We will update this document as we receive questions from schools over the coming weeks. A number of alternative providers have been in contact with us already over the past months and we will add their details to these pages too. We are happy to review any service proposals you receive and provide advice to ensure continuity of service post 1st April 2020. 

 

Please don’t hesitate to email the team at schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk if you require support with anything relating to this decision.

 

 
 
Termination Support
 

Whilst we can provide advice to you on the things you should consider when choosing a provider, we cannot inform your decision as to which provider you move forward with.  We would recommend you seek support from those suppliers you are engaging with to provide case examples and contacts within their existing customer base to help you make a decision on your broadband provider from 1st  April 2020. . 

When your school is reviewing options for your Broadband provision, to ensure a like for like service you will need to confirm that your new service fully replaces the existing one using the checklist below. Please note that everything will need to be in place by 1st April 2020.

To find out when improvements to broadband are coming to the area please look at the Superfast Essex web site (http://www.superfastessex.org/maps)

To check what broadband speeds are available to you, you can use any of the commercial comparison web sites such as USwitch, Money Supermarket, Compare the Market etc

 

 

Termination Checklist for schools

 

 Service Cancellation Activity
WAN Link

Link will be disconnected on 1st April - no additional notification will be given to the school. 

DUCL will collect the ECC router within 30 working days of the 1st April.  Failure to allow collection will result in a charge for the equipment.

Web filteringOnce internet access via DUCL has ceased, schools will no longer have access to the web filtering provision.  With immediate effect, responsibility will rest with the Headteacher/Governors to ensure appropriate access to Internet based content and services complies with specifications in PAS 74 – Internet Safety, Access control systems for the protection of children online
IP AddressesAll public IP addresses belong to Essex County Council - Schools Broadband, these will be returned to Essex County Council and will not be available to the school for use after 1st April. The school will need to source new appropriate IP ranges from their new supplier
Attix 5 Your login details will be disabled on 1st April and the data will be deleted on the 30th April to avoid ECC holding data inappropriately
DNS

School will be responsible for raising a service request to the DUCL service desk to request the redirection of the DNS records to the new supplier. 

To ensure that your schools Office 365 will continue to work then your new supplier will need to set up a new DNS entry for any .essex.sch.uk accounts.

Office 365

Schools will no longer be licensed to use any .essex.sch.uk email addresses unless they have contacted Nominet. 

The school will still be able to use Office356 as it is provided free to education by Microsoft but your email addresses will need to be linked to your new domain name. - see DNS

PLEASE NOTE: it is esstential that you also update the .essex.sch.uk account recovery information as many  schools are still using the generic details the accounts were created with.

Nominet

The schools broadband service .essex.sch.uk domain name for the school will be deleted on the 1st of April.

If the schools wish to retain any domains held by ECC they will need to either contact Nominet and arrange/pay for the registrar to be transferred from EssexCC to their new provider or contact the Schools Broadband Team with the required information, as detailed in the questions section below

Anti virusSchools that use the Essex license for McAfee will need to remove this license and replace with a suitable alternative
Web HostingSchools that currently host their web site with DUCL.  Accounts will suspended on 1st April and data deleted from the system on 30th April. Alternative Web hosting will need to be sourced by the school
Email Filtering From 1st April the DUCL Barracuda email filtering will no longer monitor and filter email for SPAM and blocked addresses.  Schools will need to ensure that they have a replacement service
Telephony Schools can continue to contract directly with Daisy for telephone services.  However ECC negotiated rates will no longer be protected.

 

 PLEASE NOTE - This a list of suppliers who have contacted Essex Education.

These contact details are provided to assist our schools in contacting a variety of potential providers (to complete your due diligence in accordance with your schools policies) whilst reviewing your options for broadband connections and associated services. Other companies may chose to contact schools directly and may not be listed. We are not endorsing any of the listed companies.

 

Questions from schools - with general answers

Q: How much do we currently pay?

 

A: For this information please email schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk  

 

 

Q: Can my current link be novated to my new supplier?

 

A: No -  the link is part of the DUCL Network and current contract with DUCL. However we have been advised that Entrust have agreed with DUCL the continued use of existing infrastructure.

 

 

Q; Will our internet switch off on April 1st?

 

A: The connections will cease at midnight on 31/03/20  - but if any schools are struggling please contact the Schools Broadband Team who will endeavour to assist

 

 

Q: How do I know what all the things on the termination check list are?

 

A: The Schools Broadband Overview should help - anything else please email us any queries - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk  

 

Q: How do we look into companies that are offering to be our new Supplier and check their offers?

 

A: Links to school procurement guidance in the secure area can be found here: https://schools.essex.gov.uk/admin/Finance/Pages/Finance.aspx

Additionally these sites may be useful.

http://www.hoovers.com/

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house

 

 

 

Q:What is your opinion on __________ company on your list ?

 

A: We haven't completed any ratification on any of the companies listed - we are just listing the contact information provided by companies to assist schools. Therefore we cannot provide schools with informed opinion on any of the companies as a provider. We can however help you to understand what the companies are offering and suggest questions you may want to ask.

 

 

 

Q:How secure is our current filtering?

 

A: Your current filtering service is delivered using Netsweeper, managed centrally by DUCL. 

 

This current system has several years' worth of your schools preferences as well as blocked sites catalogued and exception groups used by multiple schools which are set by Essex Schools Broadband. It also monitors and categorises new websites as they appear - Netsweeper

 

Something to consider when selecting a new provider is to establish who will be managing the blocking and unblocking sites etc and ensuring compliancy.

 

For more information on your current solution please see Internet Filtering & Security

 

 

 

Q:What other compliances or security considerations should we be looking for?

 

A:

ISO27001

GDPR

Secure remote support application - if offered.

Secure inter-site connections for linked schools - if offered

Existing customer to contact for references.

This is not an exhaustive list.

 

 

 

Q: Is our current connection monitored?

 

A: Yes the current connection is monitored 24/7/365 so if a fault occurs the system automatically logs a fault to be looked at and resolved. Unmonitored connections rely on the customers reporting any issues.  Please consider this when choosing future suppliers.

 

 

 

Q: What do we need to be asking about in regards to IP addresses

 

A: Essex Schools Broadband/DUCL have allocated your school a range of external and internal IP address which are owned by ECC.

Therefore it is essential that your new provider is aware that they will need to provide you with a new range IPs and that some reconfiguration of your LAN (local area network) may be required.

 

 

 

Q: Can Schools Broadband Team help us retain our essex.sch.uk domain?

 

A: Yes.

Schools Broadband Team can now release the account to a new owner and also update the registrar from EssexCC to the new provider.

 

Schools will need request this directly and provide the following information.

  • Who to move Ownership to at the school.
  • What the new TAG is.
  • what contact details to add to Nominet for this address.

 

Please Note: you will need to have your new provider in place before requesting this

Potential suppliers for school - for information only

​ 

Companies that have been in contact with ECC Education seeking to take on / support schools so far include:

 

 

Entrust

Email: edtech@entrust-ed.co.uk

Phone: 0333 300 1900

Link: Entrust Broadband Services

During initial discussions with Entrust they have advised they will complete this checklist for you and will have posted out  proposals to Essex Schools for review.

 

 

LGfL - London Grid for learning

Email: enquiries@lgfl.net

Phone:020 8408 4455

 

 

RM

Email: schoolsales@rm.com

Phone:08450700300

 

 

Since the announcement on 23/09/19, these companies have also contacted ECC Education advising they would like their details to be listed for schools.

 

 

Midshire Business Systems (Communications) Ltd

Email: : iam@midshiretelecom.co.uk

Phone: 0800 008 6038

Link: www.schoolsconnect.education

 

 

United Network Technologies

Email: info@unitednetconnect.com

Phone: 0203 943 9430

Link: www.unitednetconnect.com

 

 

Lasertech IT Services Ltd

Email: Broadband@lasertechsupport.co.uk 

Phone: 01376 528951 / 07793816631 / 07809503139

 

 

Levett Consultancy

Email: hello@levettconsultancy.co.uk

Phone:01279 799256 opt 1

Link: https://internet4schools.uk/

 

 

turn IT on

Email: office@turniton.co.uk

Phone: 01865 597622

Link: www.turniton.co.uk

 

 

Online Systems

Phone number: 01228 587831

Email: sales@online-systems.co.uk , m.jacques@online-systems.co.uk

Link:  https://www.online-systems.co.uk/

 

 

​Cantium Business Solutions

Email: info@cantium.solutions

Phone: 03000 411 115

Link: https://cantium.solutions

During initial discussions with ​Cantium they have advised they will complete this checklist for you.

 

 

Computer Talk Ltd

Email: broadband@computertalk.co.uk

Phone:  020 8595 7744

Link: https://www.computertalk.co.uk/education/

 

 

DL Solutions

Email: dlagden@dlsolutions.net

Phone: 07961 048378

Link: https://www.dlsolutions.net

 

 ​

emPSN

Email: empsn@empsn.org.uk

Phone: 01604 879869

Link: https://www.empsn.org.uk/

 

 

Shadowfax Technology Limited

Email: info@sfax.co.uk

Phone: 03332 400660

Link: https://sfax.co.uk

 

 

Schools Broadband

Email: info@schoolsbroadband.co.uk

Phone: 01133 222 333 option 3

Link: www.schoolsbroadband.co.uk

NB This is not Essex Schools Broadband

 

 

BT – British Telecom PLC

Email: tajinder.bains@bt.com

Phone: 0800 707 6315

Link: https://www.bt.com/education/essex

 

 

Webanywhere

Email: info@webanywhere.co.uk

Phone: 0113 3200 750

Link: www.webanywhere.co.uk

 

 

eSafety4schools

Email : info@esafety4schools.com

Phone: 0330  345 0250

Link : www.esafety4schools.com

 

 

Joskos Solutions

Email: essexbroadband@joskos.com

Phone: 0845 37 000 38

Link: http://www.joskos.com/essexbroadband/

 

 

United Technologies

Email: gavinh@utlgroup.co.uk

Phone: 01992 812929

Link:  https://www.utltelecomsolutions.co.uk/

 

 

Supplier Event Information

Levett Consultancy are holding an event on November 13th is aimed at Essex Schools, Academies and Multi-Academies Trusts leaders looking for true next-generation fast internet connectivity services that support future-proofed cloud infrastructure supporting teaching and learning. To see the full agenda and to register for this event go to: https://levettconsultancy.co.uk/internet4schools-launch-event/

 

LGFL is hosting a number of events and visiting schools directly in October to help them understand their choices for Broadband services after 31st March 2020. To find out the event closest to you or to arrange a meeting at your school,  please Email enquiries@lgfl.net  with your details (your name, school address inc postcode and contact number) and we’ll endeavour to come back to you within 24 hours (M-F)

 

RM Education support around 3,500 schools in the UK, many of which are in Essex, come along to ask our experts and local schools how they can help your school with their online safety, security and internet connectivity.

https://www.rm.com/events

 

 

Join LGfL at the Civic Centre Chelmsford on 17th October for Breakfast or lunch to hear how we can save your school Money, keep Children Safe and help with your IT strategy.

 

Morning Session: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/75669550663

Afternoon session: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/75674786323

 

 

Cantium is hosting events on the following dates:

 

Tuesday 12th November – Chelmsford City Racecourse, Chelmsford

Wednesday 13th November – Wivenhoe House, Colchester

Thursday 14th November – Holiday Inn, Basildon

 

The official session times at the dates will be:

 

08:30 – 09:30

16:00 – 17:00

18:00 – 19:00

 

Their team will also be available all throughout the day to hold drop in sessions for people to stop by at time’s that are convenient to them.

 

 

emPSN are running two free events at Essex County Cricket Club on Monday 4 November for Essex County Schools, Academies and MATS.  emPSN are a local authority owned company limited by guarantee, who can provide secure broadband connections and application services across the UK. We already provide managed connectivity services to 1200+ organisations and have a track record of delivering reliable and robust services for schools and academies.  We’d love to meet you in person and talk about how we can help your schools find broadband and application services that meet your needs.  There will be a lunchtime session at 12.30pm - 2pm (including lunch) and an afternoon session at 3pm - 4.30pm (with tea, coffee and biscuits).  The events will include an overview of what we offer, how we can help and your chance to ask us any questions you may have.

To register https://www.empsn.org.uk/services/essex/

 

 

Schools Broadband Ltd is hosting a series of four roadshows in different locations throughout Essex during November and December, to support schools and Multi Academy Trusts in choosing their new broadband provider.

 

The roadshows are aimed at both non-technical and technical staff and will provide a full over-view of replacement services. They are also an ideal opportunity for you to understand the benefits of moving to a fully managed cloud-hosted service, provided by one of the leading education specific Internet Service Providers.  We will also guide you through next steps to ensure a seamless transition.

 

Please visit our website page for more information: Essex Schools Roadshows

 

 
 
 

 

 

 Previous news articles

April 2019

SSL - Why hasn't your school transferred?
 
SSL has been the advised filtering solution for Schools Broadband schools since April 2016 when it was made available to all of our schools after a sucessful pilot in the previous term.
 
SSL - (Secure Sockets Layer) is a security protocol that creates an encrypted connection. Using our SSL option allows a greater flexibility for filtering and blocking certain types of results as it enables inspection of https encrypted traffic and provides a deeper level of protection.
 
The solution does require the distribution of an e-certificate. All devices within a schools network will either need the certificate installed or will need to be excluded via a static IP address. Guidance on how to download and install the certificate are in the  covering letter below, while there is also a link to the proforma to be completed and returned to Schools Broadband once you have finished the installations. We can then book your school a slot with DUCL and notify you when your school’s transfer is due to take place.

March 2019

WARNING - Active Spoof email campaign example
 
The team has been advised by one of our schools that they have received a rather convincing email which, if you click on the blue box, is putting the integrity of the user's account, device and school's network at risk.
 
 
 
 

 

 
Cyber threats & Training
 

As per emails distributed to our schools, Cyber criminals seem to have started to target schools more frequently.

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes or they receive an "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check and respond. Genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County throughout the Spring & Summer Term 2019. Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we are already in the process of booking a few for next term - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

February 2019

Use your Head …

 

As we highlighted to our schools on several occasions last term there appear to have been an increase in instances of malicious emails circulating, some of which seemed to be particularly targeting schools.

 

Although mostly they are a simply annoyance, if these emails fool someone into clicking on them they can quickly spread themselves around and cause difficulties.

 

The people behind these emails rely on users being busy, not thinking or just unaware of the risks of clicking on links and attachments in emails.

Schools need to ensure that staff realise they are all responsible for being vigilant and checking details before opening files or links as well as immediately reporting if they think they may have been compromised so actions can be taken to mitigate the impact.

 

They literally are your last line of defence.

 

Therefore we have sourced these posters from an ongoing ECC campaign to help you raise awareness and brighten up you walls!

 

 

 

                 UseYourHead_A4.pdf                                      Passwords - CYBER TOOTHBRUSH_A4.pdf

 

 

Where is your data?

 

It's important that schools have their data backed up and there are many different options to do this - but do you know "where" your School's data is stored?

 

If you utilise the Redstor Attix 5 backup service that is included in your Schools Broadband provision then your school's data is stored offsite but on-net in secure UK datacentres and needs a Schools broadband connection to access. 

 

These accounts are monitored and a schools are alerted and assisted if needed, to ensure their backups are kept running and up to date. We have a specialist team within DUCL that provide support for this service.

 

Schools all get a standard account size as part of their provision and can add to this at a competitive rate.

 
 
 
 Spoof Email Scam targetting schools.
 

Please be aware that there is a currently a malicious email circulating that appears to be from another Essex school. It has convinced quite a few people into clicking a link which releases a nasty virus that then uses that email account to target others.

This particular email appears use school related topics for the subject and ask the recipient to click on a blue box to display the message. Please ensure all staff are aware not to click on this link.

 

 

These spoofs emails are getting more convincing and some, like this one, seem to particularly target schools. We all know School Offices are busy places but your staff are your school's last line of defence against cyber attach. Any email that pertains to finance or other sensitive information should be thoroughly vetted before any links are clicked on.

If you are not sure about an email then you shouldn't open any attachments or links.

If a member of staff does click on a suspect link then you need to get whomever manages your Super Administrator account to reset their password as soon as possible. You will also need to run an antivirus a scan on their device. If you have third party that look after your schools LAN or a member of staff who is responsible for this infrastructure they should be informed.

Our Cyber Security Training with Essex Police covers how to verify emails along with other topics relating to cyber security. If you wish to know more about this free training please contact us

 
Cyber threats & Training
 

As per emails distributed to our schools Cyber criminals seem to have started to target schools more frequently.

 

These individuals are often just trying to trick school staff into providing information to them and have no actual incriminating videos or data and are simply using scare tactics. However they are getting better at imitating known suppliers and companies, utilising copied logos and email formats to make the emails look believable.

 

Some of the examples we have shared include:

  • Bogus Phone calls asking to remote into your device to fix a problem with your broadband.
  • Malware added rules for mailboxes that forwards financial information and then use it to send the school spoofed invoices.

           - How to Check for rules on your email account.pdf

  • Spoof emails from Microsoft & 365 requesting account details or trying to get user to "log in" via a link.

We've also seen examples of

  • Threat emails claiming to have recorded you and/or stolen you social media information.
  • Emails begging for you to "help" someone due to various plights by giving them your bank account details.

 

There have also been instances of a type of malware known as Ransomware that we highlighted to our schools last year. Further information from Esex Police can be found here : RANSOMWARE.pdf

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to are aware how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes  or they receive a "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check  and respond. For examples genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County in  Spring & Summer Term 2019.  Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we're already in the process of booking a few for next term - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

January 2019

WARNING - Active phishing campaign identified!
 
We've been advised by one of our secondary schools that the below warning has been issued by AQA
 
 
 
Dear Exams Officer

We've identified a phishing email campaign that is currently active and being distributed through email accounts belonging to some of our examiners.

The campaign is not due to any compromise of AQA systems but rather is a sophisticated cyber-criminal phishing campaign using convincing phishing emails and websites to trick users into entering passwords. The intent of the cyber criminals is to gain access to personal email accounts and exploit any valuable information contained within them. This campaign isn't isolated to AQA and it's affecting many other organisations too.

The malicious phishing email will be from a genuine, and usually a known email address and will contain a clickable button that links to a malicious website. If you hover over the link in the email you'll see that the link goes to a domain that is not associated with AQA. The malicious website is typically populated with an AQA logo to increase its plausibility and will prompt users to enter a password that will then be harvested by the cyber criminals. Any compromised email accounts will typically be inspected for any valuable personal, financial or business related information within them.

Please be vigilant and if you've received an email (like the example below) and entered a password into this malicious site we'd advise resetting the password for any systems this is associated with. 


If you have any questions please email us on cybersecurity@aqa.org.uk

Thank you for your support.

The AQA Cyber Security Team.
 
 Essex Police Cyber Training with Schools Broadband continues around County.
 

As per emails & articles distributed to our schools, Cyber criminals seem to have started to target the education sector more frequently.

 

These individuals are often just trying to trick school staff into providing information to them and have no actual incriminating videos or data and are simply using scare tactics. However they are getting better at imitating known suppliers and companies, utilising copied logos and email formats to make the emails look believable.

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to are aware how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes  or they receive a "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check  and respond. For example genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County in Spring & Summer Term 2019.  Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we're now looking at dates after half term, although there may be some space on courses that are already in place - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

 

 

 

New Year, new term…. But are you all up to date?

 

As the new term starts schools need to review all of their passwords and log in information for the various services and ensure these are saved securely in case they're needed as the term progresses. This information should be checked regularly and updated as needed – especially with personnel or supplier changes!

To help with this we've created a handy checklist. This can be filled in and either saved securely or printed off and locked away.

December 2018

Before you leave for the Christmas holidays...
 

We understand that this is a busy time of year for schools but before your school closes down for Christmas please ensure you have all your passwords and log in information for the various services saved securely in case you need them upon your return.

To help with this we've created a handy checklist. This can be filled in and either saved securely or printed off and locked away.

 
Cyber threats & Training
 

As per emails distributed to our schools Cyber criminals seem to have started to target schools more frequently.

 

These individuals are often just trying to trick school staff into providing information to them and have no actual incriminating videos or data and are simply using scare tactics. However they are getting better at imitating known suppliers and companies, utilising copied logos and email formats to make the emails look believable.

 

Some of the examples we have shared include:

  • Bogus Phone calls asking to remote into your device to fix a problem with your broadband.
  • Malware added rules for mailboxes that forwards financial information and then use it to send the school spoofed invoices.

           - How to Check for rules on your email account.pdf

  • Spoof emails from Microsoft & 365 requesting account details or trying to get user to "log in" via a link.

We've also seen examples of

  • Threat emails claiming to have recorded you and/or stolen you social media information.
  • Emails begging for you to "help" someone due to various plights by giving them your bank account details.

 

There have also been instances of a type of malware known as Ransomware that we highlighted to our schools last year. Further information from Esex Police can be found here : RANSOMWARE.pdf

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to are aware how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes  or they receive a "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check  and respond. For examples genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County in  Spring & Summer Term 2019.  Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we're already in the process of booking a few for next term - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

​​​​​​​November 2018

Cyber threats & Training
 

As per emails distributed to our schools Cyber criminals seem to have started to target schools more frequently.

 

These individuals are often just trying to trick school staff into providing information to them and have no actual incriminating videos or data and are simply using scare tactics. However they are getting better at imitating known suppliers and companies, utilising copied logos and email formats to make the emails look believable.

 

Some of the examples we have shared include:

  • Bogus Phone calls asking to remote into your device to fix a problem with your broadband.
  • Malware added rules for mailboxes that forwards financial information and then use it to send the school spoofed invoices.

           - How to Check for rules on your email account.pdf

  • Spoof emails from Microsoft & 365 requesting account details or trying to get user to "log in" via a link.

We've also seen examples of

  • Threat emails claiming to have recorded you and/or stolen you social media information.
  • Emails begging for you to "help" someone due to various plights by giving them your bank account details.

 

There have also been instances of a type of malware known as Ransomware that we highlighted to our schools last year. Further information from Esex Police can be found here : RANSOMWARE.pdf

 

Please ensure all of your staff know how to are aware how to handle calls and emails of this nature as they are your school’s last line of defence. New threats appear every day and if a good imitation gets through into one of your school's inboxes  or they receive a "urgent" call they need to know to how question, check  and respond. For examples genuine callers shouldn't mind you verifying they are who they claim to be.

 

Schools Broadband team are continuing to organise more Cyber training courses around the County in Autumn Term 2018& Spring Term 2019.  Please get in contact if you would like to host or attend as we're already in the process of booking a few for next term - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

 
 
 
ECC Schools Broadband and DUCL Autumn Update
 
Move to Remedy
 
As you may be aware DUCL have introduced a new logging system onto the DUCL Helpdesk.  The software is more comprehensive and has a number of enhanced features.
 
Logging incidents and requests
 
 Logging incidents and requests remains unchanged and you can contact DUCL in the following ways:

*If you have not got a portal account please complete this form and send to Schools Broadband team - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

 

Updates on Ticket from DUCL

As with the previous system you will receive email updates from DUCL on the progress of your incident or request.  However, the format of these have changed.  Emails will now come from capita.request@capita.co.uk (Updata is a Capita company) these are for information. 

DUCL engineers may also contact you if additional information is required to complete the work.

It is now possible to reply directly to these emails (please DO NOT change the email subject/title), the reply will automatically be added to the incident/request and the engineer will be alerted.  Alternatively, you can still phone to give the response.

Please note however that if you wish to raise a new incident or request this should be sent to the Customer.Service@DUCLTD.co.uk email address.

 

Updata Portal 

We would strongly recommend that schools request access to the Updata Portal which allows schools and, if appropriate, affiliated/MAT schools to access log new requests, view open and closed requests, provide updates and track progress on line when it is convenient to you.

Text Alerts

The Schools Broadband Team provide a Major Incident Text Service which will alert you if there is a widespread issue either in your area or affecting a number of schools.

Information on these services, self-help guides and other useful information can be found on the Broadband and Telephony section of the schools “Infolink" on the Essex County Council website.

October 2018

Strong Passwords - Three random words

 

Following on from the alert email we sent out to all schools, please ensure all of your school's users are using adequate passwords and storing them correctly.

 

The below is an extract from an article from The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) which helps explain the idea of three random words - these should be made up from both alphanumeric characters and symbols.

 

 -  the full article can be found here

 

#thinkrandom

 

If stopping a cyber-criminal breaking your password relies on long and complex passwords, where does three random words come from? Well, super-long and complex passwords aren't necessarily the best option for a number of reasons:

 

It's not all maths. Maths is great, but not at the expense of the users. It is really, really hard for a user to remember lots of complex, unique passwords. What happens is that we come up with coping mechanisms which are well known to cyber-criminals, and which they can and do exploit in order to attack our accounts.

So, ironically, using long and complex passwords sometimes just plays right into attackers' hands. For example using ‘Pa55word!’ may follow the rules of a website, but is a bad password as it's quite guessable. Typically if a cyber-criminal has the hashes to attack they will break them whatever rules are put in place.

 

Salt with that? Actually, when a website processes your password it stirs in some other information as well, like your username. This is called salting. Combined with three random words, this provides a reasonable amount of protection from attack. 

 

How did they get the hash? I glossed over the cyber-criminals getting hold of the files containing all of the password hashes. If a website is well designed this should be really hard for a cyber-criminal to do. This is also why we recommend separate passwords for sites that are important to you (like your email) to things like web forums, that aren't. If one website doesn't look after the password hashes properly, that shouldn't allow easy access to the things that are important to you.

 

Hard to guess. Three well-chosen random words can be quite memorable but not easy to guess. It provides a good compromise between protection and usability.

 

 

 

 

 

 
Third Party & Technical Meeting - Autumn Term

 

The next Third Party & Technical Meeting for schools will be on Thursday 1st November 2018, at 3pm at County Hall, Chelmsford.

This meeting enables schools to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any technical issues.

Please note that this meeting will have a technical focus, so schools should opt to send their Third Party representatives or Technical Lead. Attendance should be confirmed by emailing schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

September 2018

Cyber Training Autumn 2018
 
​​​​Schools Broadband Team in partnership with ​​​​Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit are looking to organise further training sessions for Autumn Term 2018.
 
If you were unable to attend any of the previous sessions, then please get in contact, particularly if you would like to host a session at your school.
 
Sessions will need to take place on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and will require at least 20 attendees to attend. All dates will need to be arranged with the School Broadband Team.
 
Encryption Software for schools
 

Schools Broadband are now able to offer McAfee Encryption Software to all of our schools at a competitive price to increase their GDPR compliance.  

This is an additional service procured at schools behest so schools will need to purchase licences to enable them to utilise this particular service.

To request a quotation or to discuss further then please contact the Schools Broadband Team

Please remember:

  • Schools will need one license per machine.
  • Schools will need to keep the encryption password safe as it is impossible to unencrypt without it & we cannot reset this password.
  • If an encrypted device is lost or stolen, then this still needs to be reported
  • The software is not to be used on privately owned computers or shared.

July 2018

Encryption Software for schools
 

Schools Broadband are now able to offer McAfee Encryption Software to all of our schools at a competitive price to increase their GDPR compliance.  

This is an additional service procured at schools behest so schools will need to purchase licences to enable them to utilise this particular service.

To request a quotation or to discuss further then please contact the Schools Broadband Team

Please remember:

  • Schools will need one license per machine.
  • Schools will need to keep the encryption password safe as it is impossible to unencrypt without it & we cannot reset this password.
  • If an encrypted device is lost or stolen, then this still needs to be reported
  • The software is not to be used on privately owned computers or shared.

June 2018

Third Party & Technical Meeting

 

The next Third Party & Technical Meeting for schools will be on Wednesday 18 July 2018, at 3pm at County Hall, Chelmsford.

This meeting enables schools to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any technical issues.

Please note that this meeting will have a technical focus, so schools should opt to send their Third Party representatives or Technical Lead. Attendance should be confirmed by emailing schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

 
 
Cyber Training Autumn 2018
 
​​​​Schools Broadband Team in partnership with ​​​​Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit are looking to organise further training sessions for Autumn Term 2018.
 
If you were unable to attend any of the previous sessions, then please get in contact, particularly if you would like to host a session at your school.
 
Sessions will need to take place on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and will require at least 20 attendees to attend. All dates will need to be arranged with the School Broadband Team.

March 2018

Working with Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit, we have arranged the following training sessions for schools staff, to ensure they are fully aware of the measures that need to be in place to protect their schools from cyber attack:

Venue

Date/Time

County Hall,

Chelmsford. CM1 1QH

Thursday 19th April 4pm

Birch C of E Primary School,

School Hill,

Birch,

Colchester. CO2 0LZ

Thursday 26th April 4pm

Highfields Primary School,

Colchester Road,

Lawford,

Manningtree. CO11 2BN

Monday 30th April 3:30pm

Upshire Primary Foundation School,

Upshire Road,

Upshire,

Waltham Abbey. EN9 3PX

Wednesday 2nd May 4pm

If you would like to attend one of these, please email schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk with your preference.

February 2018

Remote Access Security & the Importance of Strong Passwords

 

Following on from the article in this week newsletter posted by Schools Broadband, we have had a visit from an officer from the Essex Police Cyber Crime Unit.

We  have contacted the schools directly that have been victim of this cyber crime, but  think the letter he left  has useful information that could help protect all schools. A copy of this letter can be found here: Essex Police Letter.pdf

 

School Passwords – Security risks

 

With a lot of our processes now reliant on electronic systems there are many log in details and passwords that schools need to keep a secure record of.

But how secure are the passwords you’ve chosen? When did you last change your passwords? Do you change them regularly? Where do you store the record of the passwords you now need?

If you don’t know the answer to any of these questions then your passwords likely need to be changed and the process for maintaining them securely may need reviewing.

Commonly compromised password include system or equipment defaults that are not updated upon installation and commonly used ones such as password1,1234 and publicised names.

We have a number of resources in our Useful Stuff section of the Infolink including a checklist of passwords you may need and posters you can use to raise awareness around your school.

We are working with Essex Police to try to ensure all schools are aware of the importance of ensuring only strong passwords as used, changed regularly and recorded securely to prevent them from being targeted.

January 2018

Next NWM & Third Party Meeting
 
The next Network Managers & Third party Meeting for secondary & Primary school ICT Leads, Mangers and Third Party Support Companies will be on Tuesday 20th March 2018 - 2.30pm at County Hall, Chelmsford. This meeting enables schools to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues.
Please ensure you schools network manager is aware of this meeting and attends if possible. Please confirm attendance to schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk
 

December 2017

MAT Services
 
Following feedback from various MATs and federating schools we have now developed services  to assist them such as specialised portal access and a private network within the LAN to enable their schools work more cohesively and share resources.
 
More details on these can be found here DUCL MAT Leaflet.pdf
 
Christmas Holiday Checklist
 
With December now here and the Christmas Holidays fast approaching, we just wanted to ensure all schools were aware that their DUCL equipment will need to remain switching on over the holidays so the monitoring systems can accurately detect any issues.
We’ve created a flyer for schools to print off  and put up to ensure everyone at each site knows.
Flyer  can be found here SCHBB Christmas Flyer.pdf 

November 2017

Latest IOS update - E-safety issue resolution
 
Apple's new iOS upgrade defaults to allow Safari to access your microphone and camera.
This means that all schools that have iPads for students will need to ensure this was switched off on the school equipment once the upgrade has been applied.
Each upgrade that Apple brings out may now require schools to go  through the settings of the devices to check this type of thing doesn't happen again when upgrades are applied, so they will need to ensure that they have a process in place for this.
 
 
 
Annual PEN Testing for Schools
 
FAO - Headteacher
            Data Protection Officer (If you have one in place)
            Senior Information Risk Officer (If you have one in place)
            ICT Support
 
The annual penetration testing of the education wide area network ( the method by which your school access the schools broadband services) will take place between 20th November and 4th December. This should have no impact on your access to schools broadband services, but if you do experience any degradation of service please report this to the support desk on 0800 0283011.
 
The results of the testing will be sent to your school during January via email.
 
Please can you note this information in your General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) records as an example of the technical security measures in place to protect your Wide Area Network(WAN).
Please contact Schools Broadband Team if you have any questions.

October 2017

Education Payroll Bureau - Carval Computing Ltd
 
Schools Broadband Team have been liaising with Education Payroll Bureau - Carval Computing Ltd to ensure schools can  implement their system securely
To enable us to do this we need to set some firewall rules and Carval advise us that it’s best practice to allow one machine per school, so the Schools Broadband Team have emailed the list of schools that Carval Computing Ltd  provided. This email requests the static IP address for the machine that the school wish to use to access the education payroll bureau.
Once you have supplied this information to us, we will create the firewall rule for your school and you will be able to access the Carval platform.
Your LAN / IT support will be able to help you find this information.
 
 
 
NEW PORTAL
 
Over the summer DUCL  and Schools Broadband have  implemented a new Portal for schools to use to log, monitor and update incidents and requests so you can directly interact with your tickets. This new Portal is also GDPR compliant.  Schools can still contact the DUCL Service Desk via phone or email ( 0800 0283011 / customer.service@ducltd.co.uk
We have a built in facility for School MATs or federations to use this tool cohesively and can enable third party support companies to assist their schools (although some changes will still need school verification)
This new Portal will replaces the current “magic” portal many schools have previously signed up to, we will be contacting schools to transfer them across if they wish to continue to have this access.
To sign up please complete this form Portal flyer.pdf and send to us at schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk
 
 
 
 
McAfee AntiVirus UPDATE - School Action Required!!!
 
Please note: the McAfee grant number was updated in January 2017 and you will need this to access the update. Schools will need to email the Schools Broadband Team (schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk) to request this.
 
The latest version of McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) is now available. Version 10.5.2 includes important improvements in performance and usability, plus a tool for a simplified migration process from VirusScan Enterprise (VSE) to ENS.
 
After you download the update, new features and enhancements will be delivered through the McAfee Endpoint Security (ENS) agent. New features of this release include:
 
  • Broader out-of-box application compatibility
  • Better security effectiveness by reducing false positive risks
  • Performance optimization with a significant reduction in time to launch apps, load websites and execute subsequent On-Demand Scans
 
The McAfee Endpoint Upgrade Assistant automates your upgrade to McAfee Endpoint Security from VSE, as well as McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention (HIPs) and McAfee SiteAdvisor Enterprise (SAE). It is a McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) extension that analyses the endpoints in your McAfee ePO environment, detects the supported McAfee products that are installed, and determines the minimum requirements for upgrading to current versions of the products.
 
 
Additional Resources Available:
 
 
 If you require additional support please contact McAfee
 
Technical Support:
McAfee Support Telephone number  08709 110010 
or via the support website: http://mysupport.mcafee.com  

September 2017

SSL & YouTube
 
With the cessation of YouTube Education, YouTube access was restricted to the adult ports 8084-8085 so teachers could still use this as a resource whilst DUCL investigated how restricted access could be provided on ports 8081-8083.
 
When YouTube changed the settings dissolved the Education section they also implemented different access level that could be set to restrict the content that was available depending on its YouTube categorisation. We can utilise these for schools that have moved to SSL as the certification allows for these settings to be safely implemented.
 
Therefore schools with SSL will get the following access to YouTube
 
Strict Restricted YouTube access for ports 8081 and 8082
Moderate Restricted YouTube access for ports 8083 and 8084
Unrestricted YouTube access for port 8085
 
Schools who have not yet moved to SSL will get the global settings which are
 
8081 – No Access
8082 – No Access
8083 – No Access
8084 - You Tube access
8085 - You Tube access
 
Therefore if you wish to have restricted access enabled for you school then you will need to transfer to SSL to have this enabled and will then also be able to access resources such as Google Translate, Yahoo mail and Bing.
 
If you wish to transfer then please let us know and will send you out the guidance and proforma.
 
This access is dependent on the YouTube categorisation of their content so students access will still need to be overseen and any unsuitable or incorrectly categorised content would need to be reports to YouTube as per their guidance - https://www.youtube.com/yt/policyandsafety/en-GB/communityguidelines.html#communityguidelines-enforce
 
 
Autumn Term Meetings
 
Schools Broadband Network Managers Meeting
Monday 25th September 2017 - 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​Schools Broadband termly meeting for Secondary and Special Schools Networks Managers / ICT Coordinators​, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
To request a space please email us - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk
 
Schools Broadband Primary Schools - Third Party Support Meeting
Tuesday 3rd October 2017 – 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​​Audience: Third parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools.
Schools Broadband termly meeting for Third Parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
To request a space please email us - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

June 2017

Dates for your Diary!
 
Primary School Overview and Information session
Wednesday 28th June 2017  - 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
For ICT support/lead. This will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line
More details and application form for this can be found here Overview session 28th June 2017 flyer.docx
 
Schools Broadband Network Managers Meeting
Monday 25th September 2017 - 02:00 PM - 04:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​Schools Broadband termly meeting for Secondary and Special Schools Networks Managers / ICT Coordinators​, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
To request a space please email us - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk
 
Schools Broadband Primary Schools - Third Party Support Meeting
Tuesday 3rd October 2017 – 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​​Audience: Third parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools.
Schools Broadband termly meeting for Third Parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
To request a space please email us - schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

May 2017

The Modern Highwayman – Ransomware
Is your school at greater risk by not utilising all of the AntiVirus protection available via your Essex Schools Broadband Provision?
Unfortunately there are some nasty 'Ransomware' type viruses that target servers and then hold the owner’s information ' to ransom'. To help combat the risk of these types of viruses entering schools systems McAfee recommends selecting the HIPs (Host Intrusion Prevention) option when you are downloading their software.
More details can be found here: AntiVirus Solutions
DUCL have provided this update: Security Incident- NHS Cyber Attack.pdf and the Schools Broadband Team have emailed out further details directly to their schools.

April 2017

Major Incident(MI) Notifications
 
Following on from direct feedback from schools, we have now established a facility for schools to sign up to be notified via SMS/Text message of any issues or incidents which may affect your broadband connection and services as they are detected. These schools will also receive updates and a MI closure notification for MI’s which relate to them.
 
This means even if you are temporarily unable to receive emails we can still contact your school if you have signed up. This will reduce the need for schools to call the Service Desk to check whether the issue they are experiencing is a local issue which needs to be logged or a wider one that we are aware of and working to resolve.
 
We are looking to launch this service in May 2017 and have over 130 schools registered so far.
 
If you would like to join these schools then please complete and return this form : SMS Text Messages.docx

March 2017

Dates for the Diary
 
Schools Broadband Network Managers Meeting
Monday 24th April 2017 2.00 pm – 4.00pm
County Hall, Chelmsford
​Schools Broadband termly meeting for Secondary and Special Schools Networks Managers / ICT Coordinators​, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
 
Schools Broadband Primary Schools - Third Party Support Meeting
4th May 2017 - 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
County Hall, Chelmsford
​​Audience: Third parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools.
Schools Broadband termly meeting for Third Parties which provide ICT support to Primary Schools, to meet with representatives from the DUCL and Schools Broadband Team to discuss upcoming plans and any issues. 
Primary School Overview and Information sessions for ICT support/lead
Wednesday 28th June 2017 2:00 pm – 4:00pm
It will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line.
 
More details and Application form for this can be found here: Overview session 28th June 2017 flyer.docx

January 2017

Schools Broadband Service - Primary School Overview Sessions
 
The Schools Broadband Service are organising a Primary School Overview and Information Session. It will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line.
More details and application form for this can be found here: Overview session 1st March 2017 flyer.docx

November 2016

SMS Text Messages Notifications
 
Essex Schools Broadband services are now able to offer SMS text messages for any issues or incidents which may impact your school’s service.
 
To sign up your school for this service, please complete this flyer:SMS Text Messages 2017.pdf and send to Schoolsbroadband@essex.gov.uk

October 2016

Attix 5 Upgrade
 
Our Online Backup platform Attix 5, is scheduled to be upgraded to Version 16.9 on October 28th

Version 16.9 features a number of speed and efficiency improvements as well as a host of new features.

As a result of the required upgrade maintenance, there will be a planned 2 hour service outage window on October 28th between 10:00AM and 12:00PM. Services may experience disruptions during this time.

Please note that no client updates will be performed unless specifically requested and all clients versions will continue to function as before once the platform has been upgraded.

If you require any further information regarding the planned service outage window or the platform upgrade, please contact me.
 
If you require any further information about the online backup offered to you as part of the schools broadband package, please see Essex Schools Infolink.
 
 
Schools Broadband Service - Primary School Overview Sessions
 
The Schools Broadband Service are organising a Primary School Overview and Information Session. It will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line.
More details and application form for this can be found here:Schools Broadband Service - Overview Sessions 16.11.16.doc
 
Proxy Port Settings Check Guidance  - When did you last check your School’s Proxy settings.pdf

September 2016

YouTube Access Update.
It became apparent via reports from schools that the full YouTube site was accessible via port 8084 on Monday. Therefore this was rectified and the site was blocked as due to the content available on the full site, it is normally restricted to port 8085 which is defined as being for “Adult/Sixth Form Level Filtering Access with social networking and media”
 
As schools then advised they could not access the YouTube Education section of YouTube so we asked DUCL to investigate further and it was then discovered that this change was due to YouTube having altered the way in which it now defines it's different sections.
 
Therefore to prevent this from impeding school from using YouTube as resource we will reinstate access via port 8084 as an interim fix whilst we work with DUCL to implement the recommended Google/YouTube solution. Schools need to be aware however that this will be access to the full site so they will need ensure that appropriate measures are in put in place where needed. Any schools who do not wish to have this access granted to their port 8084 users can contact us and we will have them excluded.
 
Backup Solution Replacement Project
 
DUCL are pleased to be able to announce we are in the final planning stages of upgrading the schools backup solution infrastructure to increase capacity, improve value for money and future proof the solution. The schools backup solution offers Essex schools that are registered with the service the ability to backup critical data on their networks and restore it in disaster recovery situations.
 
The current project is to replace the existing backend storage infrastructure which will enable Essex to expand the storage available and also ultimately offer more functionality to its existing users. 
 
At this moment in time the new platform has been built and is undergoing testing. Once this phase has been completed existing backup data/schools account information will be migrated from the old platform to the new platform.  During this piece of work users will continue to access the current platform and when the migration is complete the DNS entries will be updated to point to the new platform.  This means that the transition should be seamless to you and will need little involvement the existing users.  No changes are needed to the client software for this project and the support calls should be logged in the same way as they are currently.
 
Estimated Timeline below –
 
w/c 29th August
Testing started with Schools BB Team and select Schools.
9th September
Test Schools to complete Baseline testing
w/c 12th September
Migration of existing backup data/User account information.
16th September
New platform fully operational.

August 2016

NEW LOOK - the Schools Broadband Pages have been updated!  Based on feedback from schools we have worked with the Schools Communication team to improve our pages and the user experience as well as making them more in keeping with the main pages.

June 2016

June 2016
 
Essex Educational Filtered Internet Service Project Update – 28/06/2016
 
DUCL are pleased to be able to announce we are in the final planning stages of upgrading the core infrastructure of the educational filtered internet service to increase capacity and future proof the solution.    
 
As some of you may be aware the education filtered internet platform is spread across two datacentres.  The Virtus Data Centre infrastructure was completed in April and we are now in a position to upgrade the London Hosting Data Centre infrastructure.   
 
In the past this type of work needed to be completed to during the school holidays when the expected traffic volumes are much lower.  However now the Virtus data centre now has sufficient capacity to allow us to divert all traffic to one datacentre whilst we upgrade the other during term time which means that we are able complete more meaningful testing.  The Schools Broadband team have asked a number of schools to assist with the user acceptance testing. 
 
It is possible that you may notice a minor outage whilst we divert traffic between datacentres although this activity will be completed out of hours.  Work is planned to start work on the evening of Wednesday 7th July, by isolating London Hosting DC so that the schools and libraries that normally use London Hosting are re-routed via Virtus.  No changes will  be made during Friday whilst we confirm that all traffic flows as expected via the Virtus Datacentre and test schools complete tests.  Over the weekend on the 9th & 10th July we will complete the hardware upgrade of London Hosting infrastructure and rejoin the London Hosting environment back to the solution allowing schools to route via their home datacentre and resilience will be restored.    On Monday the 11th  July we will complete tests to ensure that there are no issues on the new London Hosting infrastructure
 
I would like to thank you in advance for your understanding whilst we complete these upgrade to the solutions.
 
4th July
Change Freeze. No changes to Education DNS and Firewalls
7th July
Test School to complete Baseline testing
20:00 Work starts to isolate LHC from the solution
DUCL / ECC to test
8th July
Test School to complete stage one testing of all schools running on Virtus Datacentre and DUCL monitoring.
9th & 10 July
DUCL upgrade the London Hosting infrastructure and test
11th July
Test School to complete final testing
Additional support resource available
 
If you experience any problems with your broadband service, please contact the helpdesk on 0800 0283011
 
 
Schools Broadband Service - DUCL Telephony Fraud Prevention
 
 The latest Telephony Fraud Prevention guidance from DUCL - Telephony Fraud.pdf
 
 
Schools Broadband Service - Primary School Overview Sessions
 
The Schools Broadband Service are organising a Primary School Overview and Information Session. It will cover; running internet activity reports, setting internet filtering policies, cloud backups, SSL certification and tracking/logging helpdesk ticket on line.
More details and application form for this can be found here: Schools Broadband Service - Overview Sessions 04.07.16.doc​

May 2016

DUCL - Essex NGN Schools Update Report
 

April 2016

How to find your device's IP Address  - Guide

IP Address Guide.pdf

 


 
Schools Network Mangers Meeting  - Minutes

 

Schools Broadband minutes 19 04 16.docx



Essex Education Core Internet Upgrade - Additional work
 
Due to some delays experienced over the  Easter Break, DUCL are starting the second part of the core upgrade work on Thursday 21 April 2016. All schools will be temporarily moved over to the upgraded Virtus Data Centre so that work can be completed on London Hosting Data Centre. Schools should not notice any changes and DUCL will be monitoring for the first two days to ensure there is minimal disruption prior to initiating to upgrade work.
 
If you do experience any anomalies please contact the DUCL Service desk straight away so these can be investigated and resolved. - customer.service@ducltd.co.uk or 0800 0283011
 

 

Schools Network Mangers Meeting
Tuesday 19 April 2016, 2.00 pm at County Hall, Chelmsford.  - email schoolsbroadband@essex.,gov.uk  to confirm attendance.

 


 


Essex Education Core Internet Upgrade
As you may be aware the DUCL team have been working to renew the Essex Education Internet links over the Easter Break to upgrade the technology and capacity.  This is the infrastructure that protects schools through the firewall modules and provides the web filtering platform and the transparent proxy.

The Essex Schools are connected to the Internet via two diverse data centres - the London Hosting Data Centre and the Virtus Data Centre and the infrastructure is mirrored on each.  DUCL hoped to upgrade both datacentres over the school break.  At the moment schools are anchored to one of the two datacentres.  This will need to stay in place until the all the work is complete.
 
We are pleased to inform you that DUCL have successfully completed the upgrade of the Virtus Data Centre which is now running on new hardware and increased capacity.  The London Hosting Centre Data Centre was not completed due to some unforeseen delays with the Virtus Data Centre and some additional configuration tasks for the London Hosting solution that were identified.  DUCL plan to complete the London Hosting upgrade in the near future and communications will be made via the “Education Essex - Your weekly LA news roundup​

March 2016

Guidance on setting up Clutter for your schools  Office 365 accounts

 


Essex Educational Filtered Internet Service Project Update
 
DUCL are pleased to be able to announce we are in the final planning stages of upgrading the core infrastructure of the educational filtered internet service to increase capacity and future proof the solution.
As some of you may be aware the education filtered internet platform is spread across two datacentres.  The work will be completed during the Easter Break when the expected traffic volumes will be much lower which will allow us to divert all traffic to one datacentre whilst we upgrade the other.  Following the successful completion of the first datacentre upgrade we will complete user acceptance testing.  Once the testing complete all the traffic will be diverted to this datacentre and the process will be repeated for the second datacentre and bring this back on line to restore resilience.  
It is possible that you may notice a minor outage whilst we divert traffic between datacentres.  Work is planned to start work on Wednesday, 29 March and complete all work by Friday, 8 April.​

February 2016

Presentation from EPHA Meetings in February 2016
​​
 

 
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