General Discussion
  >> Which ISP? (Business)


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.


Pages in this thread: 1 | 2 | (show all)   Print Thread
Standard User RussellR
(newbie) Tue 30-Dec-14 02:01:04
Print Post

Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[link to this post]
 
I am on the Committee of a Community Hall and we have recently been reviewing our telephone costs.

At present we have a single BT business line with our own payphone for users. Our alarm system is also connected to this line.

A price comparison service we use has suggested that we could make a substantial saving if we were to move our line to Daisy Communications.

On hearing this, our Chairman said that we should use the saving to pay for an internet service for Hall users (in reality I believe that he just wants to be able to check his emails during meetings, but that is another story). I am not aware of any user requests for this service and I cannot see how it would help our user groups carry out their activities. We are a registered charity, so our income should be used to benefit the majority rather than a few.

I have been tasked with the job of making this happen however and need some practical advice.

Our Chair has said that all I need to do is call an ISP of my choice (not necessarily Daisy) and get the system installed.

However, I think that it is not quite that simple.

Firstly, we have an old building (1920's) which has been added to several times over the years, so some of the original external walls are now internal.

We have very few mains sockets - and none where the phone sockets are located. We have no spare capacilty on our ancient fuseboard to add more. It would be necessary to prevent Hall users from unplugging/switching off the router.

We plan to substantially renovate the Hall over a number of years starting August 2015, subject to obtaining funding. We are limited to the summer breaks for this. Part of the work involves upgrading our mains wiring and increasing the number of sockets and this will involve replacing the fuseboard.

All wiring would currently need to be in trunking below our suspended ceiling as it would be unsafe to work above it. We do plan to remove/replace this as part of the renovations to allow access to the existing cabling, but as this is subject to finding sufficient cash we do not know when this will actually happen.

As some of the internal walls are thicker than normal, I do not know if a Wi-fi signal would pass through them so that all users would be able to use it. Powerline repeaters are not an option as they would be taken. Indeed, it would not surprise me if the router also disappeared, unless it could be locked away...

Ideally I think that we need an expert who can accurately predict the expected signal strength in different parts of the building so that we do not waste money on unsuitable kit or services.

I would like to restrict use of the facility to Hall users and not the general public, so we need a password protected system. Ideally, I would like to have remote access to the router from my home PC, so that I do not need to go to the Hall to sort out problems/change passwords etc.

Even if we have a password protected system, I cannot see that we can totally restrict usage to actual users as the password will be spread around. The only control we would have is to change the login frequently.

What is our responsibility should our connection be used to download any form of illegal content - I believe that filters are not 100% effective (and can they be implemented on a router anyway?)

The BT line checker indicates that FTTC is not available to us, though this may be down to the presence of our alarm and/or payphone. This limits us to ADSL - but would this happily coexist with the payphone and alarm? The former might be more of a problem, as it could be used at any time whereas the alarm would not normally 'phone home' whilst there was anybody in the building.

If we considered a secondary dedicated line this would increase our costs though it would resolve some technical issues.

On balance, I think that we really need an expert to actually visit the Hall to carry out a proper assessment - and given the major changes planned I think that it would be sensible to defer any installation until they have been put in place. However, convincing committee members who are only interested in the end result may be difficult!

Any comments on the above, as well as suggestions for a router and ISP which might fit our needs would be much appreciated.
Standard User ian007jen
(committed) Wed 31-Dec-14 10:44:17
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: RussellR] [link to this post]
 
we need an expert who can accurately predict the expected signal strength

I think no such expert exists....somebody may be able to estimate wireless coverage.

So from the top....not sure if a move from BT is necessary, you may be on a very old contract and a call to retentions may enable you to reduce the BT price.

For security you may need a coms box ...something like this http://www.screwfix.com/p/wall-data-cabinets-6u/80175

Then you will need access points either in wall or ceiling mounted http://www.solwise.co.uk/wireless-access-point.htm with cat5e network cable going back to the site of the coms box, these access points tend to use power over ethernet (PoE) so do not require mains power themselves.

restrict use of the facility to Hall users

I am sure that normal wpa wireless security would suffice with password rotation as you mention.

What is our responsibility should our connection be used to download any form of illegal content

This is where things get complicated and difficult, and some sort of hot-spot portal/landing page where users enter their names and tick a box to confirm adherence to T&C's etc.

The BT line checker indicates that FTTC

Use the address checker http://dslchecker.bt.com/adsl/ADSLChecker.address and post back the results (ensure you obscure the address first)

but would this happily coexist with the payphone and alarm?

Payphone not a problem and most alarms are DSL aware these days and do not cause any problems.

need an expert to actually visit the Hall

Where abouts is the hall located?

Hope that is enough to start with

Ian
Standard User vivaciti
(knowledge is power) Fri 02-Jan-15 15:14:02
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: RussellR] [link to this post]
 
Hi,
Don't forget the price comparison sites only list the companies that pay them the most for listing them so don't (as a lot of people think) list all providers.
BT are expensive for the phone lines, for example their basic phone line rental currently costs £15.00 per month + VAT the same phone line from Zen would cost £13.49 and from us £12.50 per month, but you wont find us or Zen on a comparison site so you may need to dig a little deeper on what you can get and save.

The broadband will be quite happy on a line for the payphone but the alarm may be a different story depending on what the alarm uses.

Installing an ADSL router is not so much an issue but if the building is old and wifi may not get a great coverage you could add other wifi access points to boost the service.

www.vivaciti.net
Vivaciti Broadband
0800 0911797

Forum
Facebook


Register (or login) on our website and you will not see this ad.

Standard User eckiedoo
(experienced) Fri 02-Jan-15 16:09:04
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: RussellR] [link to this post]
 
You mention that the original building dates from the 1920s.

I have noted many such halls that were built from (pre-fabricated) "corrugated iron" sheeting, with steel frames etc, War Office surplus from WW1.


This could be "hidden" by later extensions etc.


If your hall is of that nature, then would play havoc with Wi Fi.
Standard User ggremlin
(committed) Fri 02-Jan-15 17:01:11
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: ian007jen] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ian007jen:
we need an expert who can accurately predict the expected signal strength

I think no such expert exists....somebody may be able to estimate wireless coverage.
they could just take a spare wifi router and a laptop with inssider, and try it.
Standard User RussellR
(newbie) Fri 02-Jan-15 20:29:12
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: ian007jen] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for your help, Ian

As far as signal strength goes, if we fit a router with good specifications in the larger area of the hall, we could subsequently add access points as necessary.

Good point about BT retentions - they may well do a deal, particularly if we take additional services from them.

The comms box and access points seem to be exactly what we need - the smoke detector style points will not draw undue attention to themselves.

I'll investigate the portal/landing page concept.

Although the Hall has been in place since 1926, Royal Mail do not have us on their database so I can't use the address checker (I've asked them to look into this). However, using the phone number gives us this response -

Telephone Number on Exchange HAILSHAM is served by Cabinet 30

Featured Products Downstream Line Rate(Mbps) Upstream Line Rate(Mbps) Downstream Range(Mbps) Availability Date

WBC ADSL 2+ Up to 17.5 -- 15.5 to 19 Available
WBC ADSL 2+ Annex M Up to 17.5 Up to 1.5 15.5 to 19 Available
ADSL Max Up to 7.5 -- 6.5 to 8 Available
WBC Fixed Rate 2 -- -- Available
Fixed Rate 2 -- -- Available

Other Offerings
Copper Multicast -- -- -- Available

(I'll have to learn how to maintain table layouts on here!

I've also run it using our neighbour's address and this gives similar results as to services, but with reduced speeds.

As far as the alarm goes I'll check with the manufacturer just to be on the safe side as it has been in place for almost ten years.

As far as location goes, the Hall is in Hailsham, East Sussex.
Standard User RussellR
(newbie) Fri 02-Jan-15 20:39:33
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: eckiedoo] [link to this post]
 
Hi eckiedoo

I forgot to mention this - in fact the old War Memorial Hall in the town was built with corrugated iron sheeting.

However, we are fairly sure that our building is fully brick built, though I might just take my metal detector down to make sure!

The front wall had to be pierced last year, as we were trying to assess the source of some dampness on the inner surface. The camera that the surveyor poked in showed plenty of debris but no sign of steel framing or sheeting.

On the positive side though, if the sheeting exists it might be a simple way of restricting access to those inside the building smirk
Standard User RussellR
(newbie) Fri 02-Jan-15 20:46:16
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: vivaciti] [link to this post]
 
Hi Vivaciti

Yes, that is a great drawback in the use of comparison sites - and a very good reason to always read the small print and to ask those who have more practical experience (on here for example).

What you say just further reinforces my comment at our committee meeting that putting in Wi-fi is not as straightforward as they wanted to believe.
Standard User RussellR
(newbie) Fri 02-Jan-15 20:55:38
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: ggremlin] [link to this post]
 
Hi ggremlin

Wouldn't we need an internet connection to start with, though?

I'm surprised that nobody seems to have designed a device which would transmit at the relevant frequencies and then you could put that in different spots and run around with the laptop to get the best coverage.

It seems a straightforward idea, but quite probably the deciding factor would be the size of the market as usually the deciding factor is the location of the mains and telephone sockets, rather than best coverage from one fixed point.
Standard User ian007jen
(committed) Fri 02-Jan-15 21:10:20
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: RussellR] [link to this post]
 
Wouldn't we need an internet connection to start with, though?

No, not if you know what you are doing....the wireless works without an internet connection, and you can test coverage.

if we fit a router with good specifications in the larger area of the hall

Dont forget the BT socket and mains power would be require at this point as well

Hailsham, East Sussex

Too far for me to offer my services then frown

Ian
Standard User partial
(committed) Fri 02-Jan-15 21:50:42
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: RussellR] [link to this post]
 
Payphone will be okay then as the checker would flag up if it was using 'meter pulsing' signalling which is an incompatible product.
Standard User trolleybus
(committed) Fri 02-Jan-15 22:27:14
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: partial] [link to this post]
 
Get shot of the Payphone for starters; with unlimited call plans available it becomes unnecessary luxury, Bar calls outside the plan. An alarm presumably means "Red Care"; no problem there as it will happily co-exist with ADSL or FTTC. Have wired wireless access points using Ethernet over power if necessary, Get a decent router like the Draytek 2830vN for a whole range of configuration options where you could have the option to use VoIP as well without any special phones. Issue sorted.
Standard User RussellR
(newbie) Fri 02-Jan-15 23:21:30
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: ian007jen] [link to this post]
 
Useful to know about the router - but we would certainly need to recable the phone socket (when we had a fault last year the BT engineer was less than complimentary about the way 'somebody' had connected an extension to move our payphone).
And of course neither are close to a power socket!

Shame that you are not local to use.

Thanks

Russell
Standard User eckiedoo
(experienced) Sun 04-Jan-15 07:56:05
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: RussellR] [link to this post]
 
To enlarge on the suggestion of testing with a router, inSSIDer etc, I suggest that instead for the convenience of not needing Mains, you load inSSIDer 2 on one laptop or netbook; and Connectify on another laptop, their batteries giving you greater freedom to roam around etc, testing different locations.

-------------------------------

I find inSSIDer 2 more convenient than later versions.

If I remember correctly, the free version of Connectify switches OFF after about 30 minutes; but is readily restarted.

I suspect that given that 5 GHz Wi Fi is still not too common, you should concentrate on 2.4 GHz as giving generally better penetration and coverage.

When I tested around my house, garden etc, 5 GHz was generally 10 db worse/lower than 2.4 GHz, the source being an EE Brightbox 2, so a "regular" Wi Fi source, in its normal working location..
Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 20-Jan-16 22:53:49
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: RussellR] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RussellR:
Although the Hall has been in place since 1926, Royal Mail do not have us on their database so I can't use the address checker (I've asked them to look into this).


I am the Chair of a Charity's management committee and had the same problem with the attached caretaker's house. Both hall and house built in late half 1800s.

To get onto Royal Mail's database, you need to contact the planning department at your local council. They do this sort of thing all the time, from new developments to where flats have been made within existing properties. In theory an easy job, but took us ages. I am also a County Councillor - which may have been the reason... wink

Cheers!

Clive


Andrews & Arnold FTTC
DrayTek Vigor 2920Vn

Andrews & Arnold Data SIM
HUAWEI E5776
Standard User eckiedoo
(experienced) Thu 21-Jan-16 10:29:02
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: RussellR] [link to this post]
 
It would be interesting to know what has happened over the past year - any progress?
Standard User webmcs
(newbie) Thu 28-Jan-16 15:53:05
Print Post

Re: Community Hall Wi-fi broadband installation


[re: vivaciti] [link to this post]
 
vivacity is awesome service provider
Pages in this thread: 1 | 2 | (show all)   Print Thread

Jump to