Frequently Asked Questions
99% of schools are conencted to the Schools Broadband Network. Most of the approx 1% remaining are delayed due to building works in the school or other factors.
The Service Desk is the central point of contact providing schools with information, advice and technical support in relation to the Schools Broadband Programme. The telephone number for the NCTE Schools Broadband Service Desk is: freefone 1 800 33 44 66
Further contacts details are available on Service Desk Contact Form
Under the Schools Broadband Programme broadband will be provided free to schools. Schools have the choice of waiting for broadband under this programme or in the interim paying for broadband from a commercial service provider. NCTE recommends that schools review their current Internet connection with regards the following:
- If broadband is available locally to schools and the costs involved are affordable, then schools are recommended to install this local broadband option. The costs involved will need to be met by the school.
- If broadband is not available locally, schools are advised to move to a flat rate service with a more predictable monthly flat rate cost per month.
- Where broadband is not available locally schools should consider upgrading their existing service to a faster service (eg from ordinary line to ISDN).
- If these options are not possible then schools should keep their existing Internet connection in place until connected to the Schools Broadband Network.
Websites accessed on the Schools Broadband Network go through a level of filtering to ensure that inappropriate sites are excluded. Where this happens, a "Web Page Blocked" message page appears.
Websites are put into categories, which in turn are divided across filtering levels. Access to a website depends upon on its category, and the filtering level that a school has applied for. Despite having millions of websites categorised it is possible that the website you are trying to access may be uncategorised or in a blocked category. See Content Filtering for further details on categories/filtering levels and how to set or change a category for a website.
How can our school change their filtering level?
Schools wishing to change their filtering level can download and return the Content Filtering Changes form available on the Content Filtering page. Completed forms should be returned to the NCTE Service Desk (address details are included on the form).
Can a website in a blocked category be made available?
Where a website is in a category not allowed on the Schools Broadband Network but it is deemed that the website should be made available to schools, that website may be added to a Whitelist. All websites listed in the Whitelist are made available to schools. Schools may request that a website be reviewed for adding to the whitelist or blacklist by emailing the Service Desk.
Where a website is in a category that is allowed on the Schools Broadband Network but it is deemed that the website is not appropriate for schools, that website is added to a Blacklist. All websites listed in the Blacklist are not accessible in schools. Schools may request that a website be reviewed for adding to the whitelist or blacklist by emailing the Service Desk.
There is an Adult Content Filtering Level which can be switched on for a couple of hours to facilitate Adult classes especially those educating parents on social networking sites such as Facebook and Bebo. The following content categories will of course still be blocked during these periods: ‘Pornography’, ‘Adult Materials’ and ‘Malware’ and NCTE reserves the right to block other content as required. Schools wishing to avail of this filtering level can download and return the Adult Content Filtering Application Form available on the Content Filtering page. Completed forms must be returned to the NCTE Service Desk (address details are included on the form) a week in advance of the class.
No, broadband is always on, making access to the Internet available throughout the day without incurring a cost.
A number of different technologies including DSL, satellite, wireless and lease line are used to ensure that all schools throughout Ireland are connected, regardless of the location of the school. The particular technology used to connect a specific school depends on a number of factors including school location, and the broadband connectivity options available locally.
The broadband router is a piece of ICT equipment installed in the school as part of the installation process which is used to connect the schools local network (or LAN) to the broadband connection, via a broadband modem. It is through the broadband router that the school can gain always-on high-speed access to the Schools Broadband Network and hence the Internet.