What you don’t see is what you get–running a broadband consortia


imageI’m meeting up with the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) later this week. It seems like being a Regional Broadband Consortia is a pretty tough gig these days, what with the DfE cutting the capital budgets in the Harnessing Technology Grant, and some people misunderstanding that all they do is provide an (expensive) basic Internet connection.

So this morning I was just doing a little bit of homework to prepare for the meeting. I knew that the page on their website called “Getting Started” was a good place to begin. I liked the way that they described their service (and the nice safety-pin analogy), but pretty soon I was scratching my head about one of the headlines - “What you don’t see is what you get”. What on earth could that mean?

After I’d spent five minutes reading the PDF version of the Introductory Guide to your new Schools Internet Service (linked from this page), I understood where they were coming from.

What you don’t see is what you get

It’s a good way of explaining that all of the things they do in the background are just as important as all of the things you see. And the background jobs actually make your life easier by preventing more serious problems and annoyances for all of your users. There were three SWGfL statistics in the document that jumped out:

  • SWGfL blocks 6,500,000 spam emails every day

      • SWGfL blocks 15,500 viruses every month

          • SWGfL handles 483,000,000 web-page requests every week

          That means that they are stopping nearly 2.5 billion spam emails and 200 thousand viruses from reaching staff and students every year. All the while, letting students and staff get to 25 billion web pages every year.

          It’s like a invisible protection cloak for the schools they support across 15 local authorities.

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