Though they are subject to Saudi Arabia’s strict state-level filtering, this blanket solution didn’t provide the level of policy control they needed.
Decided to deploy Smoothwall Filter after it was highly recommended by other schools.
What’s the background?
The British International School of Jeddah is a K-13 school which provides ‘British Style’ education to over 1500 students from over 60 countries.
Internet access is available to students and staff at all times on both wired and wireless devices. Upper school students can bring any device onto the network to connect to WiFi, whilst lower years have access to iPads for classroom use.
The school see ICT as an essential resource to support learning and teaching. IT Manager Jacques Gouws is challenged with ensuring the network provides secure access for all users.
What was the problem?
They required the ability to control the use of certain websites such as Facebook and YouTube.
The school wanted to embrace the use of web access in education by allowing access to social networks, video streaming and music sites, without hindering access to essential resources. As a result of having very limited bandwidth control Jacques was experiencing significantly reduced Internet speeds.
He needed a way to intelligently optimise the school’s bandwidth use to ensure availability for essential learning and teaching resources.
“As a result of having very limited bandwidth control we was experiencing significantly reduced Internet speeds.”
How Smoothwall helped
Jacques decided to deploy Smoothwall Filter after it was highly recommended by other schools: “We were sold when we heard about the extensive monitoring and control features, particularly Bandwidth Management”.
‘Who, What, When and Where’ policies have allowed flexible access to social networks, such as Facebook, whilst comprehensive reporting has highlighted any misuse: “Smoothwall has massively increased our knowledge of who is doing what, which is exactly what we needed to control our usage”.
Bandwidth Management has controlled the use of bandwidth-heavy services like music downloads whilst prioritising access to critical services: “We have the flexibility to ensure our most important traffic always gets through”.
In a region where bandwidth costs are at a premium, Smoothwall Filter is saving the school money every day: “We are able to operate comfortably using significantly less bandwidth which is a huge cost saving”.
Jacques is particularly impressed with the level of support he has received: “The support team have been very useful when needed — they’re always happy to help”.
With web bottlenecks and uncontrolled access in the past, BISJ are happy that their network is fulfilling their needs better than ever before.
“Smoothwall has brought us to the modern age, from going nowhere to full filtered access.”
Smoothwall has brought us to the modern age, from going nowhere to full filtered access.