Preparing 4G routers
Find out how 4G wireless routers are secured, how much data users get, how long the contract is and records you should keep.
Keeping records of your 4G wireless routers
You don’t need to do anything to set up the devices before you give them to users. You should, however, keep records of all routers you receive and who you loan them to.
The person specified as technical contact (the person nominated as your technical contact when you ordered) at the local authority or school will be responsible for distributing the 4G wireless routers.
When your 4G wireless routers are dispatched, we’ll send the technical contact a form that includes a unique Device IMEI Number and SIM ICC ID Number for each device. Store this information securely for future reference – it will not be available elsewhere.
You must keep track of who has each router. Keep a note of the name of the user, with the IMEI and SIM number for each device. This is so that requests can be made about specific routers. For example, if you want to deactivate a particular SIM because a child has reported it as stolen. Your technical contact must also keep accurate records of who has each device, as this will be required in the event of a Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) request.
The SIM card inside each router will be activated the day after you receive them. The data allowance will start from this point and will remain active for 6 months. You should loan the 4G wireless routers to the children, young people and their parents and carers the following day at the earliest.
Each of your 4G wireless routers currently has a monthly data cap of 20GB. This means the user can only use up to 20GB of data per month before the 4G wireless router will stop connecting to the internet, until the new month starts.
It would be helpful if you remind families, young people and care leavers that:
- their router has a monthly data cap
- they should only use the data connection for education and social care services
- They can reduce the amount of data they use by choosing 'Standard Definition' SD when watching videos online or making video calls.
How the routers are secured
The router will only operate with the SIM card that is already installed. Attempting to use the SIM card with any other device will either not give a data connection or will cause the SIM card to become barred.
The device will connect to the mobile network with the strongest signal available. Regardless of which network it uses, all traffic will pass through a private, secure connection to a filtered service.
The 4G routers use a filtering system that blocks a range of categories of content and limits searching to the ‘Safe Search’ supported by popular search engines. This filtering should not prevent legitimate use of the devices. If a child is able to access illegal or inappropriate content that should be filtered out, you should report this through the 4G wireless router support portal.
Parents and guardians of the young people making use of these devices should be mindful of advice on supervising internet use by children.
You may have particular resources or sites you would choose to signpost them to, or alternatively material can be found here:
- What parents and carers need to know during school closures which includes detailed advice on keeping children safe online. It includes how to have age appropriate conversations with children about online safety, home filters, age appropriate parental controls and risks of platforms and apps
- Support for parents and carers to keep children safe from online harms outlines resources to help keep children safe from different risks online and where to go to receive support and advice
- Support to stay safe online includes information on security and privacy settings
User guidance for young people and their carers
Your wireless routers will come with 4G SIM cards in them. Your SIMs will be activated the day after you receive your 4G wireless routers. They are then ready to loan to families, children and young people.
Along with set-up instructions in the box, you can give the users this user guide that covers:
- how to set up a 4G wireless router
- tips on staying safe online
- using data only for education and social care
- what to do if something goes wrong
You should give young people and their carers a copy of this content. You can edit it to include contact details for a person or team that can provide technical support if, for example, the device is faulty or runs out of data. You can also add details to the safeguarding section to make it more relevant to your organisation.
You can get help with 4G wireless routers through the 4G wireless router support portal. Key contacts at local authorities and academy trusts should have login details, if they don’t, contact COVID.Technology@education.gov.uk.
How to get started with your 4G wireless router
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