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advice on capital spend on fibre and managed wireless

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by djphillips1408, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I may have access to a fund to fibre my school and pop in a managed wireless solution. Thing is we have never approached any of the big players as we have never had the opportunity to get anywhere near these sorts of funds before. So does anyone on here have first hand experience of gettign these big capital projects up and running in their schools and if so who would you recommend or tell me to avoid.
    If you would prefer to email me directly then please do so djphillips1408 *at* hotmail *dot* com
    Please don't post back if you are just looking to slag off the likes of RM, I really need to hear from people who have experience such an install..
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    I may have access to a fund to fibre my school and pop in a managed wireless solution. Thing is we have never approached any of the big players as we have never had the opportunity to get anywhere near these sorts of funds before. So does anyone on here have first hand experience of gettign these big capital projects up and running in their schools and if so who would you recommend or tell me to avoid.
    If you would prefer to email me directly then please do so djphillips1408 *at* hotmail *dot* com
    Please don't post back if you are just looking to slag off the likes of RM, I really need to hear from people who have experience such an install..
    Thanks in advance
     
  3. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    Did this a two previous schools. Sadly the best option is to go to BETT and look at & speak to the providers.
    Ensure YOU'RE clear on what you want - by that I mean the SLT who have to make the final decision - some companies come in and offer additional bits and bobs that thrill the non-tech but do nothing to the enhance the ICT facilities in the school (no name as you said not to [​IMG])
    Narrow it down on the phone and get a few of them in to look at the feasibility and explain to you what they can offer. Some may want to charge for wireless surveying the school point out you don't want to keep their plans but you want a full and clear costing. This avoids the "Oh we didn't know it was a steel building that's going to be an extra...."
    Look at local as well as big companies, the recession helps as they may be strapped for work
    Ensure they're going to use top spec kit, cisco, HP etc (<strike>unlike RM</strike>)
    Choosing the right supplier is absolutely essential and I would recommend a turn-key solution. You don't want the fibre people blaming the wireless people and vice-versa if the whole kit fails (which it won't of course[​IMG]).
    Look at VOIP for your internal comms at the same time.
    Expect it to take a lot of your time up and ensure you're adequately compensated (Non Contact Time etc)
    Finally ONE AP in an ICT suite is not enough!

    HTH

     
  4. Talk to your LEA. Visit schools in your area and learn from their experiences. I agree to look at VOIP - lots of potential uses, both internal and external. This is a very technical area so you need to have the skills, or buy in the skills, to ask the right technical questions and to make sense of the technical information you are given. I would suggest splitting up the big project into smaller independent projects with clear milestones. It will help focus whoever you select on getting each part right. One provider for everything is a good idea. Think through how it will be managed after they have installed everything. Write into the contract a specific list of all the documentation, wiring diagrams, technical set-up info, hardware specifications, serial numbers, logins, passwords etc. One day in the future, you may want to ditch the company and it can be a right pain trying to work out what you have so you can move forward without them. Just assume they go bust after installing everything - what do you need to know? There are a lot of cowboys out there, a lot. Go for someone with a list of references as long as your arm and do your own independent search.
     
  5. Well, I've been installing Ruckus wireless kit today. The setup is really very, very simple - plug in the central controller, then plug in your access points around the school and let the controller find them and start them working. You really don't need to do anything complicated or pay for any expertise, you just need someone to place the access points around the school - a simple job for anyone with a ladder and a screwdriver. The controller and 20 access points (more than enough to cover our 6-floor building) cost us around &pound;17,000.

     

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