What drives the cost of School Connectivity?

Understanding Education Internet Costs

Internet connectivity is an important part of day-to-day functioning for schools and academies, giving students the ability to develop their understanding of topics in an effective, self-driven way, while letting teachers access, share and discuss useful educational resources. Unfortunately, schools also tend to be significantly overcharged for their Internet connectivity, with bills often stretching into the tens of thousands annually even in urban areas.

At Exa Education, our main focus is giving schools a better level of access to Internet connectivity while offering vastly better value for money than the competition.

We work with over 1000 schools across the UK, providing a wide range of Internet services, from high-performance connectivity to ExaVoice VoIP, wide area networks and more. Our experience working with schools gives us the expertise needed to deliver effective, customised and cost-efficient education service packages - below, we’re taking a look at how we’re able to do that.

From the start, whether you work in a school, academy or business, a work Internet connection will cost a lot more than a home one, even when they’re advertising the same speeds. Traditionally, there’s two key reasons for this: contention and reliability.

In the vast majority of cases, ISPs don’t supply enough bandwidth for all of their users to use their full connection at once, which leads to contention between users. Typically, a home connection may have a contention ratio in the hundreds/ thousands, leading to slow speeds at peak times. Business/ school connections use a far lower contention, ensuring that users get far better performance, particularly with services provided uncontended, like our DarkLight connectivity.

Beyond this, the importance of reliability is significantly different for schools and home users - if a school’s connection is down for a day, there’s a major problem, while a home user’s connection dropping is largely just an inconvenience. As such, organisation-focused connectivity options are built for additional resilience, often backed up with Service Level Agreements guaranteeing a certain level of performance.

While both of these factors are critical, they’re also costly to supply, even in the best case scenario. However, many ISPs go further than they should here, leading to overly high prices for school Internet - a real problem at a time when budgets are dropping.

Bring Your Own Device Schemes require a fast and reliable connectivity

Cutting down Internet costs for Schools

One of the key issues with Internet pricing for schools is the existence of per-pupil pricing. While a connection might seem relatively inexpensive by itself, many school-based ISPs add an additional cost based on the number of full-time students in the school, which adds up extremely quickly, particularly in secondary schools.

With an average secondary school having a bit over 900 pupils, even a £2 per-pupil charge would add a full £1800 to the annual cost of connectivity, while the standard £5/6 fees can quickly double the cost of a connection.

In a lot of cases, our basic connection price is about the same as the competition. However, we don’t apply any kind of per-pupil pricing, saving our customers thousands right off the bat. In some cases, we’re able to offer an even better value for money with our future-proof DarkLight connectivity, which typically costs a fraction of what equivalent-speed connections charge, while also providing a unique set of advantages.

Along with the price of connectivity, schools tend to have to pay for a variety of different services along with the connection itself - firewalls, filtering, safeguarding, and several more. We work with a number of market-leading organisations to supply their services to schools, creating effective packages at a competitive, budget-friendly pricing. Head over to the Exa website for more information, or get in touch with our team at 0345 145 1234 to discuss your specific requirements.