Internet: HPSN2.1

A fully-managed enterprise standard internet service, providing dedicated super-fast fibre with unparalleled safety and security and an average up-time in excess of 99.95%.

HPSN 2.1 logo
Primary & Special schools 100Mbps minimum
Secondary schools up to 1Gbps (500Mbps minimum)
A fully managed private network
Unparalleled safety and security
Over 450 LA schools connected (over 90%)
Average up-time in excess of 99.95%
Same price per pupil for all schools
Secure access to vital HCC services
 
Security

Data received and sent internally via HPSN2.1 is secured within our private network without it ever touching the public internet. This guarantees that all data schools are sending and receiving is private and secure from external threats.

  • A rigorously inspected secure private network
  • Data is not exposed to the public internet
  • A strict service level agreement
  • Secure access to vital HCC services

Online safety

The internet is a large unsecured public network, open to vulnerabilities which present significant risks to users, data and connected systems. Viruses, ransomware, privacy and data-protection breaches, illegal activity and online abuse all pose significant risks to the online experience. Schools are not immune from these threats and are duty-bound to protect users by providing a robust, secure internet connection.

We apply the highest levels of safety and security possible without impeding user experience to protect the online safety and security for schools, school’s data, school staff and students.

HPSN2.1 includes sophisticated centrally managed firewalls and anti-virus software, which protect schools from ever-increasing cyber threats, keeping children safe online. This is identified as a key requirement in the DfE statutory guidance: ‘Keeping children safe in education’ . This has consequently become an increasing safeguarding focus during Ofsted Inspections.

For further advice for parents, carers, young people and professionals within schools please visit the Hampshire County Council Online Safety guidance pages.

Flexible web filtering

HPSN2.1 provides a Smoothwall web filtering service for all schools on the network.

Smoothwall are market leaders in school online security and provide web filtering for over 40% of UK secondary schools.

The Smoothwall service provided through HPSN2.1 is powerful, but simple to use, providing flexibility and control.

Web filtering for primary and special schools is delivered using the HCC centrally hosted and managed platform, whilst secondary school filtering is delivered using a locally installed Smoothwall appliance.

All connected schools (across all phases) have the following HPSN2.1 filtering options:

1. HCC Managed Web Filtering:

The HPSN2.1 standard service, which provides the age-appropriate level of web filtering for the whole school.

Standard filtering levels are agreed County-wide in consultation with safeguarding leads. Active Directory integration is available as an option (this enables different levels of web filtering for standard user groups: e.g. All staff, All students, KS1, KS2 and KS3). Any websites defined as illegal by the Internet Watch Foundation will always be blocked.

2. School Managed Flexible Web Filtering (FWF):

This allows schools to determine their own web filtering policy using an online self-service portal. Options available include keyword filtering, time of day filtering, filtering of encrypted websites and Active Directory integration (which enables different web filtering for individuals or groups at the school). Any websites defined as illegal by the Internet Watch Foundation will always be blocked.

Some options are subject to the agreement of certain terms and conditions. The benefits of each approach can be can be discussed with an account manager as appropriate.

Firewall management

Primary and special schools are protected by a resilient, centrally-managed Palo Alto firewall cluster. Palo Alto are market leaders in enterprise level firewalls and cyber security protection.

Each secondary school is protected by a locally-installed Smoothwall firewall and web filter appliance. Smoothwall are market leaders in school online security and provide web filtering for over 40% of UK secondary schools. The Smoothwall service provided through HPSN2.1 is powerful, but simple to use.

Secondary schools can choose to take advantage of the total flexibility this provides and take local control of their web filtering and / or their firewall security, safe in the knowledge that the Smoothwall infrastructure is managed, maintained and supported by Hampshire IT.

Secondary schools have the following firewall management options under HPSN2.1:
  1. Fully managed by Hampshire IT.
  2. Locally managed by the school (subject to the acceptance of certain terms and conditions)

Some options are subject to the agreement of certain terms and conditions. The benefits of each approach can be can be discussed with an account manager as appropriate.

 

Secure access to vital HCC services

HPSN2.1 provides secure access to the following services:

  • The EDDIE server for secure data transfer to the Local Authority
  • Hampshire County Council centrally managed virus protection service
  • Single factor access to Centrally Hosted SIMS when connecting from a school
  • Hosted Schools Service (HSS)
  • IT service desk tool for logging and tracking support requests
  • Schools Child Portal for easy access to safeguarding information
  • Hampshire County Council Intranet pages
  • Free access to online NEN (National Education Network) resources
  • Hampshire Services IT remote shadow support software
 

Interception of encrypted web traffic

Encrypted web sites can make web filtering less effective. To address this, schools that choose School Managed Flexible Web Filtering have the additional option to enable Interception for encrypted web sites.

This provides the best possible web filtering for encrypted web sites. The technology works in the following way:
  1. The encrypted connection is seamlessly unwrapped
  2. All the web content is analysed
  3. A filtering decision is made
  4. Permitted connections are securely re-encrypted, so they pass securely across the internet

Schools can selectively choose which types of website will be intercepted (e.g. to avoid privacy concerns for online banking).

Interception requires a small digital certificate file to be installed on each computer. This can be deployed by schools in several ways and Hampshire IT can advise on the most appropriate approach for schools to use.

Schools have the choice to have Interception of encrypted web traffic enabled or disabled.

These options are subject to the agreement of certain terms and conditions. The benefits of each approach can be can be discussed with an account manager as appropriate.

 

School to school Connectivity

This is an optional service for schools that wish to connect to other schools across the HPSN2.1 network.

This allows arrangements such as reciprocal off-site backup.

This option is subject to the agreement of certain terms and conditions from all schools involved. The details of this approach can be can be discussed with an account manager as appropriate.

The HPSN cost model

The HPSN cost model was designed to address the significant difference in cost of servicing ‘on-network’ schools (typically larger schools in urban areas), versus ‘off-network’ schools (typically smaller schools in more rural areas) with costs ‘smoothed’ across all schools to maintain an affordable service for all.

This ensures that schools pay the same base rate and per pupil rates for HPSN, regardless of the true cost of delivering their service. As such, ‘on-net’ schools, partially subsidise the costs of delivering internet to ‘off-net’ schools.

This model ensures modern high-speed connectivity is available to rural schools at an affordable price.

As a local authority, operating on a not-for-profit basis, Hampshire County Council is fully committed to this collaborative approach long-term. We firmly believe that ensuring that no Hampshire school child is placed at a disadvantage based on the location of their school is the right thing to do. This ethos is also fully endorsed by the Schools Forum.

HPSN contract term

HPSN2.1 is available on a fixed term agreement basis to 31 December 2022 and will future-proof your school data connectivity requirements to at least that date.

Regulation and certification

As a public service network PSN, HPSN2.1 adheres to strict government security standards. This includes ongoing security fix, patch and vulnerability management.

Our services have been certified against the international security standards ISO20000 IT Service Management and ISO27001 Information Security Management since 2008. They also meet PCI DSS standards for payment card transactions. Hampshire County Council is fully compliant with all data protection regulations and is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office under data protection registration number Z7534309.

Hampshire County Council is rigorously, externally audited every year against all these standards in the same way that schools have Ofsted inspections. These factors are often invisible to users but are completely essential to ensure online safety.

Background to HPSN

Created in 1999 and delivered in partnership with Virgin Media Business (VMB), the Hampshire Public Services Network (HPSN) was the first public sector network and was developed with the aim of delivering equal access to high-quality internet capability to all Hampshire school children.

The project delivered dedicated fibre optic broadband to all Hampshire schools, even where this was not available domestically. As a local authority, Hampshire County Council has remained committed to this goal.

In January 2018, a revised agreement was reached with VMB as a direct response to the growing need for improved connectivity in Hampshire schools.

HPSN2.1 securely connects over 1,200 public sector sites across Hampshire, including over 450 schools (over 90% of Hampshire LA schools).

HPSN2.1 provides schools with substantially increased bandwidth capacity to cater for the continued future growth of online services, without any additional price increase.

The upgraded service is flexible, with increased scalability and added control, allowing schools to do more with their network and infrastructure, whilst maintaining unparalleled levels of security.

  • Created in 1999, the Hampshire Public Services Network (HPSN) was the first public sector network
  • Delivered dedicated fibre optic broadband to all Hampshire schools, even where not available domestically
  • A fully managed service with a dedicated service desk
  • Meets PSN, ISO27001 and other security standards and consistently meets availability targets in excess of 99.5%
  • A cost model addressing the significant difference in cost of ‘on-network’ versus ‘off-network’
  • High quality access for all. A collaborative ethos fully endorsed by the School’s Forum. Each school pays the same per pupil, regardless of physical location
  • Upgraded in 2018 to HPSN2.1, delivering significant bandwidth upgrades and additional control and flexibility at no additional cost

The future of HPSN

The current HPSN2.1 agreement between Hampshire County Council and Virgin Media Business expires on the 31 December 2022 and is suitably ‘future-proof’ to cater for school’s connectivity needs until that date and beyond.

Hampshire County Council will start an in-depth procurement project in 2019 in order to allow us to deliver the next generation of connectivity services for our customers ahead of the December 2022 deadline.

Contact us

We can provide advice and consultancy on a range of IT solutions and can attend governor’s meetings, staff briefings and parent’s evenings as required. Please click below to find out the best way to contact us.