Broadband for Education: A Guide to the DfE Standards

Broadband Connectivity is essential for schools and colleges to provide high-quality education to their students. In today’s digital world, students need access to the internet to learn effectively. They need to be able to digitally collaborate with classmates, complete assignments and access online resources.

The Department for Education (DfE) published Broadband Standards for Schools and Colleges, which set out the requirements for broadband connectivity in schools and colleges. These standards are designed to help schools and colleges ensure that their students can access the high-speed internet they need to learn.

DfE Broadband Standards – A Summary

To help you meet these expectations and save you some time, we’ve provided a summary of what schools, colleges and trusts are expected to deliver in terms of connection type, connection speed, resilience and safeguarding.


Schools and colleges should use a full-fibre connection for their broadband service.

Full fibre connections are sometimes described as:

  • a leased line
  • fibre to the premises (FTTP)

Full fibre services provide the capacity and speed needed for effective use of online learning tools and flexibility to future-proof schools as demand for internet services increases.

  • Primary Schools should have a minimum broadband speed of 100Mbps download and 30Mbps upload.
  • Secondary schools, all-through schools, and further education colleges should have a minimum broadband speed of 1Gbps download and upload.


Schools and colleges should have a backup broadband connection to ensure resilience and maintain continuity of service.

You should ensure that appropriate measures are in place to mitigate against a single point of failure. For example, having an automatic fail-over to FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) backup connection.


Schools and colleges should have appropriate IT security and safeguarding systems in place, under both child and data protection legislation

It’s essential that children are safeguarded from potentially harmful and inappropriate online material. You should also ensure that you have an effective content filtering system and firewall as part of your internet and network system.


To meet the standards, Dataspire recommends…

  • Most importantly, you consider the needs of your school or college.
  • You consider the number of users and devices that will be using the broadband connection.
  • You consider the types of activities that will be taking place on the broadband connection, such as streaming video or online gaming.
  • Assessing your current broadband connection. You can do this by running a speed test.
  • Choosing a broadband provider that can offer you a resilient connection – Choose Dataspire!
  • Choosing a broadband provider that can offer you a connection that is scalable to meet your future needs.
  • Using a content filtering solution to protect students from harmful content online.
  • Using a network monitoring solution to identify and resolve problems with your broadband connection quickly.
  • Educating students on online safety, including teaching them about the dangers of the internet and how to stay safe online.

The DfE Broadband Standards for Schools and Colleges is an important resource for schools and colleges to ensure that their students have access to the high-speed internet they need to learn. By following these standards, schools and colleges can help to create a more supportive environment for learning.

Additional tips for schools and colleges to follow:

Use a wireless network: A wireless network can give students and staff the flexibility to access the internet from anywhere in the school building.

Use a cloud-based solution: A cloud-based solution can help you to save money on IT costs. It can also make it easier for you to manage your broadband connection.

Use a managed service provider: A managed service provider can help you manage your broadband connection and other IT services. This can free up your time so that you can focus on teaching and learning.


Dataspire Broadband

To help schools future-proof their technology, Dataspire offers an enhanced education broadband solution that will save you money and create ICT confidence for your establishment.

With Dataspire Broadband, you receive:

  • the best possible connection for your location
  • connectivity designed specifically for education
  • a backup line for ‘always on’ service continuity
  • cost savings on broadband expenditure
  • crucial safeguarding and security features
  • flexibility for future strategy and planning
  • support from our expert service desk

Want to know more?

Complete the form below to find out how we can improve your internet service and help you meet the DfE’s standards.

Get in touch