[Offtopic] O/T Budgeting for 2007

Stephen Loosley stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Nov 11 02:10:11 EST 2006

Hi there,

In terms of the bandwidth-budget, here's what Netspace are saying.

It's an important topic, maybe Mike and people might like to discuss
any Vicone connectivity items further, perhaps on the offtopic edulist,
or maybe the products edulist ... your thoughts on the matter, Kevork?

> At 04:04 PM 9/11/2006, vicone-school at lists.netspace.net.au wrote:


Recently a number of schools have sought assistance (from Netspace)
in the planning for next year's ICT budgets, particularly in view of significant
increases in usage and associated costs this year as they have migrated to
the new wide-area-network with its vastly improved access bandwidth.

Overall the advice we have been able to impart has been limited. This year
saw wide-scale change to how schools access Internet services. Next year
promises even more change as schools start to take advantage of the
functionality now available to them through the new access bandwidths.

The implications of the provider connectivity to the proposed Whole-of-Victorian
Government (WoVG) Internet Exchange under the recent WoVG Internet Services
tender throw another unknown factor into the mix. I do not believe that anyone
would be able to predict with any useable accuracy what the usage
patterns for next year will be. We know that across the board schools have
been provided with an increase in access bandwidth by DE&T of between
two-and-a-half to thirty-two fold! Most of the rural schools are
particularly benefiting from this vast improvement in access bandwidth.

This doesn't mean that there will be a corresponding increase in usage of
the same amount.  We have seen that many schools have had their monthly
usage double, treble or even increase by six or eight fold. However some
schools have seen much more modest increases, so it is hard to even
formulate a generalisation.

Online services such as Google Earth will be regularly used by more and more
schools as they are now provided with sufficient bandwidth to make use of
such services. These services are bandwidth intensive and download "heavy"
as their content is often not-cacheable.

If you view your monthly usage through the year and compare them to those of
last year you will see sometimes steady, sometimes marked increase from this
year to last. However the increases have been somewhat dampened by other
factors. Some, like the VicSmart ISP firewall have been addressed and had
immediate effect on performance and through-put. Others such as the VicSmart
interconnect used by Netspace have not yet been rectified, but soon will,
and will again have an effect on performance, throughput and of course

All this adds up to another year of uncertainty ahead of us. If you are
currently formulating the IT budget for next year or about to soon start, I
can only advise you to do the following:

1. Budget pessimistically: Overall usage next year will be higher than this
year. Use months like May, July and August as your yardsticks and you should
be able to protect yourself from too much of a budget blow-out. Over the
past eight years the overall cost of Internet services to schools has come
down in real terms. With the new and improved access bandwidth not only will
costs potentially increase, but as schools make use of the increase
functionality and various online resources, so will costs be expected to

2. Monitor your usage regularly through the online tools that are available
to you - eg Permstats etc. These are available through the Education Control
Panel (http://admin.vicone.netspace.net.au) and you should try to check your
monthly usage every week. Monitor your usage trends and change the monthly
plan you are on to make sure you are not incurring unnecessary costs.

I believe that DE&T will monitor the outcomes of the WoVG Internet Services
tender before making any decisions regarding adopting a preferred supplier
model or adding additional providers to the current Recommended ISP list. I
do not expect that any movements on this front will be available to schools
before the end of Term 1 2007 at the earliest. Hence point #1 above.

I hope that this has been helpful to you. As always we will try and keep you
informed of any developments as they occur.

Best Regards,

Mike D'Monte
Business Development Manager - Education
Netspace Online Systems Pty Ltd
Level 1 - 683 Burke Rd,
CAMBERWELL, Victoria 3124
T: 03 9811 0000
D: 03 9811 0081
M: 0410 621 734
F: 1300 138 274
mike.dmonte at staff.netspace.net.au

Note: Zero business connections
with any school ISP what-so-ever

Cheers all ..
Stephen Loosley
Victoria, Australia  

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