Community Wi-Fi

stevebea

Senior Member
Has anyone on the forum installed a community wi-fi for broadband access system? I have an upcoming community wi-fi project for an 85 unit apartment complex and its going to be up to me to design and install the system and I'm not quite sure where to start. any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks.
 

Electric-Light

Senior Member
Has anyone on the forum installed a community wi-fi for broadband access system? I have an upcoming community wi-fi project for an 85 unit apartment complex and its going to be up to me to design and install the system and I'm not quite sure where to start. any help would be greatly appreciated, Thanks.
I don't know a whole lot, but I would definitely go with user registration based authentication system, so accounts can be disabled for overdue rent, ToS violation, ability to identify user in order to respond to court orders and law enforcement requests.

If you let it be general access/shared credentials, as done at many coffee shops you're going to run into problems with a few file sharing users downloading/uploading data around the clock using lion's share of bandwidth and generate complaints about slow internet from other tenants.
 

zbang

Senior Member
This is one of those things, like MV terminations, where if you don't know how to do it, you probably shouldn't. Some of the issues involve AAA (access, authorization, accounting), RF coverage and interference, bandwidth management, etc. Just sticking up a few access points will not make a "system". cisco has some solutions, IIRC avaya does (did?) too, there are others. It's really a network engineering problem, not an electrical problem.

All that aside, there's still work to be done for the physical installation. Heck, I've been involved with data networks since before Ethernet came on the scene, and I'd have to research the current best practices. I do know that most installations don't use them.

is this part of the apartment's infrastructure? who's paying to operate and maintain? People don't complain as much when the optional free service quits, but you'll hear them when the cable TV goes out.
 
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Electric-Light

Senior Member
It's not really the hardware, but its the network configuration and administrative stuff that's difficult. I'm pretty much clueless on all the details that go into it.

I know what they do, but I'm not sure HOW they do it but it takes knowledge and skills. There's a reason they get paid as much or more than journeyman electricians.

Payscale says journeyman sparksy range from $39-$61K while system admins are getting $41-$63K.
 

stevebea

Senior Member
Thanks guy's for your responses! At this point I dont have any details to share. This is an apartment rehab job that we are doing and I was told second hand through the PM that the architect wants us to do a community wi-fi install. After reading your posts I realize some of the questions I need to ask. When I find out more I will post. Thanks again.
 

cadpoint

Senior Member
This is a poker game don't blush, don't show the client that you don't understand the job or imply any other wrong aspects about the job to them either.

Just don't let the job get away becasue of the job itself! Those telephonie guys will eat this job up for lunch!

I'm just saying... good luck! :)
 

Jacob S

Senior Member
I am sorry, but if you don't know the ins and outs of large distributed wireless, please walk away. You will do the customer a service. If you still want to do it, then sub it out to a reputable firm that can design it, allow you to install the components, program and configure it, and support it. This is not the type of system to learn on and there is a lot more to it than installing access points. That is the easy part. Bash the IT guys all you want, but this is not a home wifi network...their expertise is invaluable in this situation.
 

hbiss

EC, Westchester, New York NEC: 2014
This is a poker game don't blush, don't show the client that you don't understand the job or imply any other wrong aspects about the job to them either.

Just don't let the job get away becasue of the job itself! Those telephonie guys will eat this job up for lunch!


Great attitude! There's an example of everything that's wrong with this industry guys!

Maybe those "telephone guys" actually KNOW what they are doing and do something other than scratching their heads and taking the customer's money?

-Hal
 

sameguy

Senior Member
Go for it! Contact a shop in your area for the IT.
You still run cat6 or fiber out to the wifi, back to a room in each building, then each building back to the main server, in most that we have done.
 

Electric-Light

Senior Member
You should have the IT guys design and configure the system, however alarm technicians or electricians are probably better at physically running wires, which is the portion of job you should try to get since IT guys probably do not want to be crawling around or snaking wires.

Don't lose future jobs with half assing this job and getting bad references.
 
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