Community News

Connectivity services for schools: best practice and lessons learned

The SIG-MSP met in Dublin on 20-21 September, the well-attended meeting was kindly hosted by the Irish NREN, HEAnet. The main objective of the event was to give NRENs the opportunity to share their experience about services and connectivity for schools, talk about new initiatives and provide feedback on the service matrix template for the e-Infra Central project. One of the most positive aspects of the meeting was undoubtedly the presence of colleagues from NRENs whose participation at SIG-MSP gatherings has been less frequent, so we were particularly delighted to welcome some new faces to Dublin.

The day started off with a contribution from GEANT’s new Community Research Officer Sabrina McCollum who presented the findings of research regarding NRENs, school connectivity and services. This was followed by Peter Szegedi’s update on the Up2U project, which also set the scene and demonstrated the latest work and thinking on NREN support for Education. The presentations that generated the highest levels of discussion were the case studies on services and connectivity for schools in The Netherlands and the e-school project in Croatia; these examples also stimulated exchanges on best practices and lessons learned. We also eagerly listened to presentations on connectivity and network provisioning services to schools in Southern Italy, on e-infrastructure services and support in Slovenia, and on connectivity to Hungarian schools delivered by the Hungarian NREN.

Day two of our meeting focused on knowledge sharing about new services such as eduVPN, inAcademia and Liberate (JISC). In addition, we explored how NRENs could present their services in a “one-stop-shop” portal being developed through the e-infracentral project. All in all another successful and well attended meeting!

The next SIG-MSP meeting will take place in London on 17 – 18 January 2018 and will focus on two main subject areas: NRENs and training (sharing services and discussions on “value propositions” in a member organisation setting), best practices and lessons learned. I look forward to seeing you in London next year!