Information for schools YOUR FIBRE CONNECTION

Information for
Fibre to independent schools
Introduction .................................................................................................................. 3
Process for your fibre connection ................................................................................. 4
Ministry’s role in the connection process ...................................................................... 5
What happens next - Service connection ..................................................................... 5
When will services be available? .................................................................................. 5
Ultra-fast broadband – how much will it cost? .............................................................. 5
Your fibre connection – other frequently asked questions ............................................ 6
Project Overview – State school
Congratulations! You are receiving this information pack because fibre is about to be
rolled out in your area. This is the first step towards your school having access to ultrafast broadband.
Ultra-fast broadband access is currently understood to be a connection capable of up
to 100Mbps. Schools that are already connected to fibre report that the increased
bandwidth and connection speeds deliver a range of benefits such as:
improved performance of high bandwidth services such as streaming TV
ability for schools to participate in online learning communities
more opportunity to create, collaborate and connect online
greater range of subject choices for students via distance learning
more effective assessment practices and administrative efficiencies
The Government has prioritised schools in its ultra-fast broadband roll out in
recognition of the increasing use of technology in education delivery.
As an independent school, you will need to fund your connection to the fibre being
deployed in your area. However it is likely to be more cost-effective for you to do this
as part of the regional roll out than if you were to arrange your connection
independently at a later date.
The fibre connection (also known as a fibre drop) covers the section of fibre that runs
from your school boundary across the grounds and into an agreed termination point
within your school (usually your server).
There are three steps to being able to access ultra-fast broadband:
Service connection
This is where new fibre is laid in your school’s area or
connection This is when your school gets connected to the fibre
in the street.
This is when you have selected a retailer who can
provide internet services over the fibre (also known as
a retail service provider). Only when you have
service connection, can you use ultra-fast
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Project Overview – State school
Process for your fibre connection
1. Please read this guide and then discuss the information with your Board.
2. Please complete and return the enclosed forms and any other relevant
documentation in order for the fibre drop to proceed. The forms cover
permission to proceed with deployment, identification of the point where fibre
will be connected into your school and nomination of school contacts during the
Important note: the fibre being installed will deliver 100Mpbs capability and
should be sufficient for most schools’ ICT needs in the medium term. If you are
a larger school with especially high ICT use, please refer to question 4 on page
7. If you believe that your requirements may exceed 100Mpbs in the short term,
please email your details to [email protected] and the Schools
Connection Project Manager will contact you to discuss your specific
requirements before you complete and return the forms to us.
3. The Ministry will check the completed documentation and pass it onto your local
fibre provider who will then respond to you with a proposed deployment route,
method, schedule and a quote for the work.
4. After you’ve checked and accepted the proposal, the provider will arrange
contractors to install your fibre drop to Government standards.
5. The installation itself should take no longer than a week. Following installation
you will need to sign and return a Certificate of Completion to confirm the job is
completed to your satisfaction.
Fibre Drop Process
School receives
fibre drop
Fibre Provider
Indicative time scales
Forms completed
and sent to MoE
School approves
School confirms
job complete
Ministry of Education oversight & management function
Site visit arranged
if required
Fibre drop
proposal sent to
2 weeks
2 weeks
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Fibre installed
2 weeks
Project Overview – State school
Ministry’s role in the connection process
The Ministry’s dedicated School Connection Support Advisor will provide guidance and
oversight of the fibre connection process. This includes mediation in the unlikely event
that any issues arise that cannot be resolved directly with the contractor. We will also
arrange police vetting of all contractors to ensure safety of your staff and students.
What happens next - Service connection
Building the physical fibre network is only the first step towards ultra-fast broadband
access. Providers have to agree to use the network, and then develop fibre-enabled
products and services to run over it. In turn, those services need to be tested to make
sure they work. When retailers are ready, they will promote their products and services
to customers.
A helpful analogy when thinking about ultra-fast broadband access is that of a standard
phone line being put into your school. While all the hardware and technology might be
in place and ready, you can’t use the telephone until you have an account with a
telecommunications provider.
Ultra-fast broadband is just the same. Until you’ve signed a contract for internet
services with a retailer, your school won’t be able to use ultra-fast broadband.
When will services be available?
Because ultra-fast broadband over fibre is new, New Zealand providers will take time
to develop service offers especially for schools. This means services over the fibre may
be available in different areas at different times depending on where the new fibre
network has been built and products have been tested.
It is likely that as soon as retailers have services available for schools in your region,
they will contact you directly. The Ministry will also publish a list of service providers
who have indicated that they are able to provide fibre-based services to schools, on
our website.
Once services arrive in your area, you can keep using your copper connection until you
have identified a retail service provider that will meet your needs.
Ultra-fast broadband – how much will it cost?
As well as funding your fibre connection, your school will also have to meet the cost of
internet access and services via an internet service provider – as you currently do now.
To keep the cost of ultra-fast broadband access down, you may wish to work
collectively with other schools to buy access and services as a group. If your needs are
similar, you could ask for a service with common specifications (eg access speeds,
VOIP, email). It will be worth comparing offers to get the best deal you can, especially
for an initial two year contract.
It is important to note the cost of a service which offers bandwidth in excess of
100Mbps is likely to be significantly higher. Upgrading to this service at a later date, if
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Project Overview – State school
needed, will require a relatively simple change to your connection and is likely to cost
in the vicinity of $500 - $1,000 for most schools.
It’s helpful to start thinking about your requirements and ways you could work with
other schools as soon as you can, to establish what will work best for your school.
Following the successful installation of your fibre connection you can talk with our
School Connection Support Advisor via [email protected] as required, to
enable you to make an informed decision about any retail services you may wish to
purchase over the fibre.
Your fibre connection – other frequently asked questions
1. What if I’m happy with my current broadband connection?
The fibre drop should still proceed to ensure your school can benefit from the
improved speeds offered by ultra-fast broadband access at a later date.
However if you feel your existing broadband service is adequate for your
school’s needs currently, there’s no need to switch to using fibre immediately.
2. Will ultra fast broadband cost more than my regular internet service?
So far, only a few providers have announced what they will be charging for
fibre-enabled internet services in locations where the roll out of Government
fibre is currently underway. Their offers have been comparable with prices
currently paid by schools for their existing internet services. As the roll out
progresses and more providers launch services for schools, a clearer overall
picture will emerge.
Ultimately, the cost will depend on the services and applications you want to
use and how many of these you want guaranteed access to at any one time.
As well as improving speed and bandwidth, ultra-fast broadband over fibre can
also offer cost efficiencies. For example, you could reduce your current
telecommunications costs by replacing your existing phone service with Voice
Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) which runs over your ultra-fast broadband
3. What fibre connection speed will I need?
The Government has committed to providing 97.7% of schools with ultra-fast
broadband connections capable of up to 100Mbps. This will meet the majority
of schools’ needs over the next few years.
Although the basic fibre connections provided will be capable of 100Mbps,
many schools may opt for a lower bandwidth service over their connection
initially, to ensure they are only paying for what they need.
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Project Overview – State school
4. What if I’m likely to need more than 100Mbps straight away?
A few larger schools may require more than 100Mbps capability to begin with.
Examples of situations when you might exceed this capability:
more than 500 students going online at the same time
accessing more than 20 different high definition TV channels or video
content e.g. YouTube, TVNZ OnDemand, eTV, at the same time
widespread use of high definition video conferencing including Skype
video calling
more than 10 closed circuit TV cameras monitored by an external
security company
having your servers hosted offsite
frequently accessed files or applications stored or hosted offsite
plans to host servers that will be shared by other schools
If you believe any of the scenarios above may apply to you then please email
[email protected] with your details and the School Connection
Project manager will contact you to discuss your specific requirements, before
you complete and return your forms.
It is important to note the cost of a service which offers bandwidth in
excess of 100Mbps is likely to be significantly higher. Upgrading to this
service at a later date, if needed, is relatively simple and is likely to cost in
the vicinity of $500 - $1,000 for most schools.
5. Does the fibre drop mean we can’t continue to use our existing, copper
You can continue to use your existing service until you choose to use the fibre.
The copper infrastructure won’t be removed as part of this or any other planned
6. What if I want to use the fibre but retain some of my existing services?
This is certainly possible – you will need to discuss your needs with your
chosen service provider.
7. When will my school be connected?
The confirmed timing for your school to be connected will be provided in the
fibre provider’s proposal. While schools are being prioritised, the schedule is
primarily driven by the roll out schedule for fibre in the community by the fibre
8. What if the proposed deployment date doesn’t suit?
To keep the costs down the school is expected to make every effort to align
with the roll out schedule of the fibre provider. However if absolutely necessary
you may be able to negotiate with the provider to agree a date convenient to
you both.
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Project Overview – State school
9. I’d prefer the fibre to be laid underground, what if the contractor proposes
an overhead method, do I have a say?
As an independent school, you are funding the cost of the fibre connection and
can therefore specify your preferred method.
10. How and with whom do I raise concerns and issues that I can’t resolve
with the lead-in provider?
In the first instance you should contact our School Connection Support Advisor
via [email protected] They will escalate your concerns to the
School Connection Project Manager if necessary.
11. I’m concerned about having contractors on-site, what safeguards are in
All contractors will be police vetted before being allowed on site.
12. How long will the deployment take?
The fibre provider will be best placed to advise how long the deployment will
take as each school will have different features that could affect the installation
e.g. a greater distance from the boundary to school buildings, or having to drill
through rock or ensure protection of heritage buildings. In most cases, it is
unlikely that the deployment will take longer than a week.
13. What if I’m not satisfied with the deployment outcome?
The Completion Certificate specifies certain criteria that have to be met prior to
sign-off. If you’re not satisfied, you can record your concerns as comments
within the Completion Certificate and return to the provider for resolution. If
these are unable to be resolved, contact the Ministry’s Connection Support
Advisor, who will escalate to the School Connection Project Manager if
14. What will happen to my existing services & internet connections?
You can continue to use your existing service if/until you choose to use the fibre
connection. However you won’t benefit from the new fibre until you change to a
fibre enabled service from your existing copper based service.
The copper infrastructure won’t be removed as part of this or any other planned
15. Will my broadband speeds be noticeably faster over fibre?
In most cases, you should certainly notice the difference. However the speeds
you experience will depend on several factors including whether your traffic is
local or international and the service you’ve purchased. Speed and capacity
may also be limited by the quality of your internal networks, if they do not meet
Ministry standards (see for more information).
16. Is there likely to be a limit to how much data we can download/upload
over fibre?
Most internet service providers do impose data caps to enable a set rate to be
offered. You will need to check and if necessary negotiate appropriate caps
with your chosen provider before signing any agreements.
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Project Overview – State school
17. How will I decide which service is right for my school?
The Ministry is developing guidelines to help schools make a considered
decision on service provision. You can contact the Ministry directly should you
have further queries. Your choice is likely to depend on:
the level of your requirements
your ICT budget
what is available in your area and when.
You can contact the Ministry’s Connection Support Advisor via
[email protected] if you need advice about choosing an internet
18. Will I have to change my Internet Service Provider to take advantage of
the fibre?
You may need to change your Internet Service Provider to take advantage of
fibre. If so you should consider the term of your existing contract, when fibrecompatible internet services are expected to be available in your area, and
whether you will incur exit penalties by switching.
Further questions? Email [email protected] or call 0800 22 5542.
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