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My Journey and UFB

Hi all. First of all thank goodness for VLN. I have been looking for a while for a forum to share my journey and thoughts about the implementation of ICT in my classroom and what the future holds. My school, Morningside School in Whangarei, will soon be connected to the Ultra Fast Broadband network. My principal and I have were charged with negoatiating on behalf of ourselves and 5 schools with finding a RSP--Retail Service Provider. This was an interesting and educational process for us. We were assisted by Mike Hilliard from the GCSN in Christchurch and Ann Bentley from the Ministry of Education. We have drawn up a great specifications sheet with questions to ask RSPs which served us well. We met with a number of RSPs, interestingly the larger telcos presently poorly, and have narrowed our selection down to two very good candidates. These will be presented to the other schools in our group tomorrow-12/07-I will update you. So what have we learnt? In general with UFB it is speed that counts and making sure that you plan ahead for the chewing up of more gigabyte capactity in your school. Our wish list was to have a 50/50 guaranteed 10 plan. This means that we want 50 mbps for downloading and 50mbps for uploading with a guaranteed 10mgps guaranteed regardless of what else is maxing out the POI--Point of Interconnectivity--where the wholesaler and retailer connect. Costs were fairly competitive with pricing roughly give or take 10% with your current plan at around $2:00 per gig with speed at around $100.00. One specification supplied that was attractive was a term called zero rated traffic. This means that you get are not chewing up your gigabyte plan by accessing some international and national traffic. For example you could access all of google's apps for nothing and Microsoft's live@edu for nothing. This happens as a result of caching--servers that map and store pages withing either New Zealand or overseas. We access 80% of our content from overseas--especially from the US which is where our one and only cable link to New Zealand comes from. So factor that into any future thinking and negotiations. We factored in service and support, security, web filtering, contract term and any MACs-moves, adds and changes and asked for any additional offerings such as VOIP and SIP. We made sure that we also had a good relationship with our wholesaler-Northpower-this is essential as this is the RSPs go to for all access and contrat requiremenmts from their end. Many RSPs are in Northpower's labs trialling and experimenting with their equipment, so it is crucial that we were aware of how far along this process they were so that we could advise on connection times. Well that's enough writing. My Year 5 and 6 colleague are having an eLearning conference in Term 3 to map out a sleuth of programmes using UFB. I have already requested more netbooks and cameras. I'll keep you posted.


  • Enabling e-Learning

    Hi David, have you seen this video on the EdTalks site? It might have some interesting similarities with your own experience:-)

    From Nethui 2011: On the same day that the first NZ schools were connected to UFB, Vikram Kumar, Chief Executive at Internet NZ, describes the potential for teaching and learning and some strategies for schools to maximise the potential that UFB offers.



  • Hancine Samvelyan

    Hi David,

    Thanks for your blog. We are preparing for UFB gov't roll out here in Rotorua.  However we are trying to workout our best options and have be asked to contact Northland in regards to pricing by Ann Bentley.  if you could help with the details of the UFB pricing that you have been able to negotiate then that would be great.  my email is hsamvelyan@rghs.school.nz.  Many thanks