How much does connectivity really cost Secondary schools?

Effective Internet Service Pricing for Bradford Schools

At the moment, many schools are faced with a major issue - Internet services are more necessary than ever, leading to already overly-high prices increasing even further as schools bring in faster connectivity. This issue, in many cases, is compounded by tighter budgets, leaving many schools unable to get the level of service that they require to fully support students and teachers.

We’ve recently seen a price list from another provider in Bradford, which we think gives a particularly clear example of the costs that many schools are faced with. We’ve taken a look through the list to put together an approximate cost for the services required by Secondary schools - along with some information on our more effective, lower-cost Internet options.

With service prices often highly dependent upon geographic location, we’re focusing specifically on Bradford in this article. However, we pride ourselves on being able to offer fantastic pricing options for schools in practically all parts of the UK, typically creating major cost savings while improving performance - don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for a no-obligation look at your school’s services, and ways to develop your performance while opening up room in your budget.

Estimating Internet Service Prices for Schools

From the start, practically every school requires an Internet connection, and content filtering and monitoring software to ensure students are protected from the dangers present online. While most schools use a range of other services (VoIP, backup, and email, to name three), we’ll focus on the necessities to give a more accurate look at the prices schools can expect to pay.

The price list we’ve seen offers a number of services/ price points. Assuming relatively low usage, a relatively small Secondary school may consider a 200 Mbps line sufficient, costing £3500 per year (with a loyalty discount applied), while a larger school will likely require something slightly higher - a 300 Mbps line is available at £5665 annually, with all prices including Smoothwall filtering rental - reasonable sounding prices.

However, with a required £5.50 annual charge per pupil, as well as a £1.97 annual charge for monitoring software, the costs shoot up. According to a DFE report on ‘Schools, Pupils and their Characteristics’, in 2017, the average Secondary school had 946 pupils, leading to a extra annual cost of a little over £7000 for the average Secondary.

In total, then, Secondary schools can expect a vast annual bill for their necessary Internet services, between £10500 and £12500 on average.

There’s a far more effective option available - Exa Education. We don’t apply a per-student charge to our prices, vastly cutting costs for busy Secondary schools right from the start. While we have a huge range of connectivity options to suit any school’s requirements, we’ve got a couple of services roughly equivalent to the previously mentioned options (although ours are backed up with better support and a more reliable network).

Along with a range of options including effective leased line services, we’re proud to offer schools across Bradford access to future-proof DarkLight connectivity, the most advanced Internet service option available today. DarkLight delivers fantastic performance at a low price point - for a smaller secondary school, we’d recommend a 300 Mbps DarkLight line, costing just a flat fee of £3588 + VAT annually, providing even faster service at a vastly lower price. While DarkLight isn’t available everywhere, with our high-performance leased lines, we’re typically able to make a real, positive difference for Bradford schools.

With faster DarkLight service options, we’re able to offer schools even better savings - schools can receive fully symmetrical gigabit connectivity for just £5988 a year, vastly lower than the cost of 300 Mbps connectivity from the alternative provider. As all DarkLight lines are designed to be future-proof, supporting a full 10 Gbps speed, users can choose to increase their connection speed at practically any point, adjusting for any increase in bandwidth requirements.

We also provide effective options for content filtering and monitoring - our Cloud-based SurfProtect Quantum filtering service costs just £250 a year (we also offer a number of other options, including Smoothwall), while NetSupport DNA, a market-leading monitoring option, is available for just £5 annually per device, often working out cheaper than the per-pupil pricing offered by other ISPs.

In total, then, Secondary schools across Bradford can get world-class connectivity, excellent device monitoring, and Cloud-based content filtering for a total of about £4800 (assuming 200 devices), less than half the price they’re being charged right now. These low costs can be a real benefit for schools, opening up thousands in funding for other work, while improving service performance across the board.

If you’re looking for a better option for your school’s Internet services, get in touch with Exa at 0345 145 1234 today!