Managed Network Support
N4L’s dedicated support teams offer expert advice and assistance to help schools get the best out of their Managed Network connection. Wherever possible, we want to make things easier for staff and students so they can focus on what’s important – teaching and learning.
The process of moving to the Managed Network involves two major pieces of work: first we need to connect your school, and then your internal network will be moved over to the Managed Network so you can start using your new connection.
Shortly after a school signs an agreement to start using the N4L Managed Network they will be contacted by an N4L Provisioning Coordinator, who will be the central point of contact throughout the process. They’ll manage the transition, coordinating all parties involved and helping tailor the school’s connection to ensure their individual needs are met.
To ensure a seamless transition, schools are informed of what to expect at each step of the transition and downtime is kept to a minimum so schools have only a short period of time without internet connectivity.
Once schools are up and running using the N4L Managed Network, N4L’s Helpdesk is the first point of contact for all support requirements.
N4L’s helpdesk team exclusively supports N4L’s services and the schools using them. They have a solid understanding of the education system and use the same tools and systems being used at schools. They’re also handily located in our Auckland head office so in the event a support enquiry needs to be escalated to another team within N4L, they’re only metres away from the people with the answers!
With access to real-time monitoring and information about the setup of your connection, our team is well equipped to support your school. If you lose connectivity, or supporting services aren’t performing as they should, the Helpdesk can use the information available to them to find out why and get it resolved as fast as possible.
Here at N4L we understand that finding time during the school day to call and log a support request can often be difficult. To make it easier for you, N4L’s Helpdesk is available before and after the school day (as well as during) so you can contact us when it’s most convenient. The team can be contacted by email or telephone Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.
Answers to some of our most frequently asking questions are below. Check them out and if you don’t find the information you’re looking for, be sure to contact the Helpdesk for assistance – 0800 LEARNING or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What are N4L’s responsibilities around privacy?
N4L is required to comply with the Privacy Act 1993. Further to this, N4L considers the privacy of schools and schools users to be important, and takes responsibility for protecting the information we hold seriously.
What are each school’s responsibilities around privacy?
Each school is responsible for ensuring they have their own policies and processes in place to manage privacy for both staff and students.
What should our school do if we identify inappropriate behaviour?
If your school identifies inappropriate behaviour by a student or staff member using the Managed Network, it should be investigated and managed according to your own policies around internet use and privacy. If you need help understanding the data available through the N4L Web Filtering dashboard please contact the N4L Helpdesk by calling 0800 LEARNING or emailing email@example.com.
For assistance dealing with inappropriate behaviour we recommend you contact NetSafe.
How much does the Managed Network cost?
The Government, through the Ministry of Education, is funding all state, state-integrated and partnership schools for their connection to N4L’s Managed Network, which includes fast, predictable internet with uncapped data; web filtering and network security services.
Does N4L provide support for a school’s wireless network if it’s used to connect to N4L’s Managed Network?
N4L supports the Managed Network and other N4L services. It is each school’s responsibility to maintain their own internal wired and wireless networks.
Our school can’t get UFB or RBI until a later date. What happens to us?
We are monitoring the rollout of UFB and RBI throughout the country. As soon as your school is able to be connected to the Managed Network we will approach you to start the connection process.
Can teachers and students access N4L from home?
The internet connectivity available as part of Managed Network connection packages is only available to schools however however some other N4L services such as Remote Access (included in Managed Network connection packages), Pond and Tahi (launching mid-2016) can be accessed from any internet connected device regardless of location.
Can independent schools get connected to the Managed Network?
Yes. Independent schools are able to connect to the Managed Network however they will not be funded to do so. N4L will begin approaching independent schools in 2016 to offer them a connection.
How much international bandwidth is available to N4L connected schools?
Schools using N4L’s Managed Network should not expect any contention on the network. Some ISPs (Internet Service Providers) talk about “contention ratios,” explaining that bottlenecks can be expected if the demand for internet capacity exceeds what they are able to supply. Contention arises when too many schools/people are using the internet at the same time, which impacts on speeds.
Will there be any downtime during our transition to N4L?
There may be some downtime. N4L will work with all parties involved to ensure this is kept to a minimum.
Why are there five connection sizes?
N4L’s five connection packages are based on internet connection sizes of 10 Megabits per second (Mbps), 50Mbps, 100Mbps, 500Mbps and 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps). 10Mbps connections will only be offered to a small number of the most remote schools in NZ that will connect via wireless or satellite technology. The connection size offered to each school will be based upon roll size and the type of connection available, while also recognising the school’s online behaviour and their needs.
N4L is offering different connection packages for different schools to ensure that every student can get the same quality and predictable internet experience – regardless of their school’s size or physical location. All packages include uncapped data, optional web filtering, network monitoring and security services.
Our school is growing and we are very close to reaching a size that warrants a bigger connection. Can we get the bigger one now?
N4L’s approach to connections is designed to be flexible and responsive to the changing nature of how schools use the internet. N4L’s real-time monitoring shows how much bandwidth your school is using. If monitoring indicates your school needs more capacity, then N4L will work with your school to determine the best solution. If a larger connection is required, N4L is able to upgrade your package.
What if our school needs more capacity?
Connections are designed to be flexible and responsive to the changing nature of how schools use the internet. If our monitoring indicates your school’s current connection isn’t adequate then we will work with your school to determine the best solution. If a larger connection is required, N4L is able to upgrade your package.
How much do independent schools pay to use N4L’s Managed Network?
While independent schools will be given the opportunity to connect to the Managed Network, they will not be funded to do so. Details on how they are able to connect will be given at a later stage of the rollout.
A student at our school has accessed inappropriate content. Who do we speak to about this?
If this has happened while using N4L’s web filtering service, then please speak to your school’s Web Filtering dashboard administrator to make any required changes to the filtering rules. If your school is not yet taking advantage of this dashboard, please call us on 0800 LEARNING or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does N4L subscribe to the Department of Internal Affairs’ filter?
Yes. The DIA’s Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System (DCEFS) is a compulsory web filter for all school’s using an N4L Managed Network connection. N4L also offers additional web filtering services that schools may choose to use as well.
Are schools allowed to use their N4L connection to host school websites?
Our school already hosts a number of servers being used by schools in our community. How does N4L manage this?
If you host these services on your servers and these are physically located at your school, and if their primary purpose is for the educational benefit of your local school community, then you are able to use your N4L Managed Network connection for this traffic.
If our internet goes down who do we call?
If your internet goes down please call N4L’s helpdesk on 0800 LEARNING. The helpdesk are available Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm.
Who else can use our school’s connection? Who are we allowed to share it with?
Your N4L Managed Network connection is intended to support your school’s teaching and learning. This means your school’s staff and students are able to use the connection while on school property.
Our school currently provides a community wireless service. Can we do this with an N4L connection?
The Ministry of Education has provided guidelines on how schools should run community wireless internet programmes. You can find this information here.
Using N4L’s Managed Network to also provide generic internet connectivity into a community is not a suggested approach, and we suggest talking with the ministry and your N4L Client Manager about this. N4L’s community wireless guidelines can be found here
Does N4L provide any proactive support for our Managed Network connection?
Yes. One way N4L does this is by installing a Raspberry Pi, a small computer that gets plugged into your managed router, allowing N4L to carry out important checks remotely. The Raspberry Pi also helps N4L’s technicians see the performance and stability of your connection from your school’s perspective. This proactive support allows N4L to identify an issue – and start resolving it – before your school is aware it even exists, improving your school’s overall experience. The Raspberry Pi is provided as part of your school’s N4L Managed Network connection package.
What does the Raspberry Pi do?
The Raspberry Pi provides N4L with an improved ability to diagnose and troubleshoot network related issues so they can be resolved faster and more effectively. It allows N4L to carry out important checks remotely (like speed tests) to ensure websites and other services are performing as they should be, and puts N4L’s support team at a school virtually, to see the performance and stability of the connection from the school’s perspective
What type of checks does the Raspberry Pi carry out?
The Raspberry Pi allows N4L to carry out important checks remotely (like speed tests and tests for packet loss) to ensure websites and other services are performing as they should be.