Management Information Sheet

Norfolk Schools Broadband procurement - Update November 2015

MI Sheet TypeInformation
MI Number:216/15
Publication Date:13/11/2015 12:00:00
LA Contact:ICT Shared Services Service Desk (0845 303 3003)
Audience:Headteachers, Business Managers, Finance Managers, Network Managers

Norfolk Schools Broadband procurement - Update November 2015

There have been a number of communications to schools about the procurement project for a new Broadband Service for schools from April 2016. Here's an update on where we are with the procurement of the new contract and what this means for schools.

In September we advised that three companies had been shortlisted and we were starting dialogue in early October. Dialogue continues this week with the suppliers and enables both parties to clarify solutions against our requirements, in particular the key success criteria, to develop the optimum solution. During this part of the process we welcome the opportunity to discuss elements of the solution with schools. We expect to close dialogue by week ending 20 November 2015.

Next steps - the new proposition

At the end of the dialogue sessions the three bidders will submit their tender responses for evaluation. We expect to award the contract by mid December 2015.

In January we will write to schools with details of the successful bidder and the broadband proposition for individual schools explaining what this means and next steps. We'll work with the successful bidder to provide clear supporting information so it is easy to understand the services offered, how they are delivered and what they cost.

So what will be different about the new contract?

We have previously described the key success criteria we expect the bidders to deliver. The table below indicates the key differences for schools from the new contract based on dialogue with the suppliers.

New contract Old contract
Contract The procurement for schools is based on a framework contract which individual schools can choose to purchase from. The competitive dialogue procurement method was advertised via the Official Journal of the European Union so schools can purchase from the framework without seeking further quotes.

The proposition is a more flexible, granular catalogue approach - based on a core package with optional services which schools can buy if they require them. The schools' survey responses indicated the core contract covers connection, router, filtering and service management plus optional catalogue services.
A single contract of services - at the moment we are unable to disaggregate services for individual schools to only pay for the services they use.
Pricing Individual schools will pay for the service of packages they choose to buy.

The contract will be between the school and provider with support accessed via ICT Shared Services Service Desk or direct to the provider.

Bidders are considering geographical area pricing so schools can benefit from technology upgrades in their area at affordable prices. This is also based on a concept of schools benefitting from geographical area aggregated purchasing - with an effect on prices if the number of sites purchasing is lower in the area.
Currently a flat price charging model applies for schools based on a "smoothed" charging model.

Schools feedback agrees that this model no longer works in today's environment.

The contract is with NCC.
Speed and performance Emphasis has been on providing services which reflect the current and future use of internet in schools. Bidders are proposing different technologies to offer schools increased speed and performance at affordable prices. This is likely to vary from 10Mbps to 1Gb connections.

Options will be available to increase speed and capacity during the lifetime of the contract and potentially to increase capacity for busy periods.
Schools' connections currently vary from 2Mbps to 100Mbps.
Service level management The new contract will be direct with the provider. There will be clear service level agreements, service credits and lead times for changes to the service.

More flexibility and improved processes eg opening of ports to enable the use of different services in school.
Contract currently via NCC. Service level agreements are not clearly defined.
Equity of access One of the key points of dialogue - bidders are proposing alternative options to improve the speed of access for hard to reach sites at reasonable cost. 2013-15 project upgraded as many schools as technically and financially viable. A number of schools still remain on Learning Stream circuits in hard to reach areas.
Internet filtering Safe, filtered access to the Internet.

The current solution is the minimum requirement. We have asked bidders for cost effective, easy to use solutions for individual schools to manage access for individual groups with automated integration of user information.
Safe, filtered access to the Internet.

Current solution uses a range of castes or profiles with option to use Smoothwall SWURL so schools can choose which sites to block and unblock at any time during the school day or use a local appliance to manage more granularly.
Separate back-up connection Optional service for increased resilience which any school can choose to buy in the new contract. A separate connection to the school if the main connection fails - currently only available for secondary schools.
Mobile device management NEW - Optional service which schools can purchase in the new contract. Supports the remote management of school owned and bring-your-own devices. Supports licence management and use of purchased applications across staff and pupils. Not available
Managed wireless solution NEW - Optional service for a managed wireless service in schools which can be purchased in the new contract. More robust solution for using mobile devices in school. Not available
Web hosting Optional service for schools to buy in the new contract. Secure web hosting with tools to manage your own website. Web hosting is currently included for schools to host their own web site in a secure environment.
Security and safeguarding It goes without saying that we all require a secure, robust, flexible service. Changes to the approach will ensure greater choice and flexibility of service but with the assurance of compliance with security and data protection standards. This means firewalls and software protecting the site from external threats and malware. Secure robust service.
Remote access to servers and services in school Optional service for remote access to servers and services in school from home or anywhere. This will replace the current service with an easy to use service which doesn't compromise security to data in school. Schools can choose to buy this service. Currently an optional service based on Neoteris.

Other changes to associated services
Service area New service Old service
Generic email accounts eg head@, office@ A separate Microsoft 365 service will be available to purchase. We will update you shortly with more information on this soon together with our project timeline Service included as part of Broadband contract. Current service becoming end-of-life and will not be upgraded.
Google and 365 email accounts for staff and pupils The Google accounts will remain unchanged. There will also be the option to use Microsoft 365 for email. This service is supported by ICT Shared Services. All staff and pupils have an NSIX email account
Norfolk Cloud Portal
- Google Apps for Education
- Microsoft 365 access to tools
The Norfolk Cloud Portal will remain on the same basis however both Google Apps for Education and Microsoft 365 apps are available for staff and pupils to use via their NSIX account in the NSIX domain environment. Accounts are provisioned via the Norfolk ID management solution from your staff and pupil data. Google Apps for Education are available for staff and pupils to use via their NSIX account in the NSIX domain environment. Accounts are automatically created and administered via our Norfolk ID management solution from your staff and pupil data.
Access to the National Education Network (NEN) & E2BN Regional Broadband Consortium (RBC) and services Customer feedback has indicated schools wish to be able to select Broadband services they want to buy and not all schools use these services. In addition funding reviews mean that other options are being considered for those schools that would like continue to use these teaching and learning resources. This will be consulted on separately. More information will be available shortly. All schools on Norfolk Broadband are connected to the NEN and East of England RBC - E2BN which gives access to a range of teaching and learning resources.
The membership of E2BN covers these services and has been paid for by Children's Services and currently ICT.

Click on the links for more information about the procurement timeline and the key success criteria.

Please contact ICT Shared Services by email if you have feedback on the service information above or to raise any concerns or request more information. Once the contract is awarded then the information will be more specific and costed for individual schools.