Worcestershire County Council

Worcestershire is a mainly rural county in the West Midlands with a population of 566,600. The county includes six local district councils: Bromsgrove, Malvern, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon and the Wyre Forest.

The Challenge

Their previous web filtering solution wasn’t fit for purpose and was hard work, as it only offered basic URL categorisation as opposed to real-time content analysis.

Big results

Implemented Smoothwall Filter as it ticked all the boxes they stipulated and others simply didn’t offer the same flexibility.

What’s the background?

Worcestershire County Council is looked after by Ben Jones, Broadband Systems Support Officer, and four IT personnel. The network has 20,000 public users including: Worcestershire comprehensive schools system, libraries, children’s homes and outdoor education facilities operating on Windows PC, Ubuntu and Macs.

In addition, the team look after the filtering for the public PCs and student PCs for Worcester University at the Hive – Worcester’s new multi-million pound city centre development which boasts a library, history and customer centre for students and the public. Access to the internet is through the council’s WAN connection and authentication is NTLM.

What was the problem?

Worcestershire County Council’s previous web filtering solution wasn’t fit for purpose and it was hard work, as it only offered basic URL categorisation as opposed to real-time content analysis.

Every day Ben and the team had to run a script of uncategorised sites, and copy and paste websites into a portal – it was very time consuming and they frequently experienced difficulty with completing this task. Frustrations were made worse when their current service provider didn’t reply promptly to support issues.

“We needed a solution which was reliable, user-friendly and could be adapted to suit the diverse needs of our users.”

Ben Jones Broadband Systems Support Officer

How Smoothwall helped

After choosing Smoothwall Filter, because it ticked all of the boxes that they stipulated, WCC have saved a great deal of time that they have been able to dedicate to other projects. Due to “Who, What, Where and When?” functionality users can create specific environments and modify the level of filtering as required. This has increased the level of flexibility and improved the user’s experience.

“With Smoothwall we didn’t need multiple servers as the solution operates on a Virtual Machine. This enabled us to offer a more cost-effective solution to users and we haven’t had to put up prices, so it has been easier for us to keep customers”

Ben Jones Broadband Systems Support Officer


With Smoothwall we didn’t need multiple servers as the solution operates on a Virtual Machine. This enabled us to offer a more cost-effective solution to users and we haven’t had to put up prices, so it has been easier for us to keep customers

Ben Jones
Worcestershire County Council

https://smoothwall.com