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96 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 11

Topic # 115355 22-Mar-2013 22:46
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I am aware that the business group in my small town are keen to set up and provide a free wifi access point or points in their main business area.  The town is on one of the main tourist routes.  

In order to assist them, can someone point me in the right direction.  Are they best to simply contract out the service provision to a commercial operator and pay accordingly or should they attempt to install and operate a service using good advice and local technical talent? (if available!)

If the latter, then what sort of hardware and software specifications are available?  

If they look at the commercial model then who do you recommend they should consider?

Thanks in advance

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62 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 785722 22-Mar-2013 22:53
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What sort of size township are we talking here? (Metre square area) Types of buildings? What sort of speeds required? Would the network be required to make some sort of money? Would you offer advertising space for the landing zone?

895 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 785733 22-Mar-2013 23:18
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Dare I say it... put out an RFP?

Obvious thinks to think about
* coverage -- how much area, in shops or just the street, ...
* access point siting -- would retailers/cafes/council buildings be happy to host wifi units or will you have to put them on powerpoles/etc
* budget (hardware, setup, maintenance, internet connection)
* how reliable does it need to be? (and how reliable can you pay for...)
* monitoring
* support (to fix it when it breaks)

If you're lucky you may well have some local talent able to produce and support a solution.  Or some not so local talent.

3209 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 786134 24-Mar-2013 00:12
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I would be happy to assist with such a project, or if you message me the town, i may be able to suggest someone that can help.
The best model i can suggest is that you can get a free wifi ticket with any purchase at a retailer in the business group. The retailer who issues the ticket can pay a fee (20c to 50c) for their contribution towards the system.

I would always choose local talent first, but i often find that in small towns, the local computer repair guy isnt too hot with proper radio planning for wifi over a larger area beyond a home router + WDS repeater which doesnt scale well.

Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here

6201 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 786173 24-Mar-2013 08:30
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Hi Alistar, you say free and that is the only model that works for people passing through, last thing they want is to have to find somewhere to pay their 2 or 3$ and get a voucher.

Best approach is to just allow free access, however access is limited to say 30Mbyte a session and a session lasts only 1-2hours and each user has a limited throughput, say 1mb/s. To start a session they will be directed to a landing page where they are told terms and conditions and maybe some advertiising of the local sites and activities then they move on to the web site they were after.

This can be achieved with readily available hardware and at not much cost, the main cost will be the ongoing monthly internet connection that feeds it.

If interested contact me or Ray in the post above I suspect he has the same idea and gear :)


1654 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 786338 24-Mar-2013 17:25
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You also need to take into account the legal obligations of providing a shared Internet service. In effect you become an ISP, enabling users to logon and access the Internet.

This means throttling the data hogs, monitoring and compliance to s92a for copyright theft, being able to provide intercept for the Police/Secret Service and so on. It's no different for a business providing internet for their staff, or you providing internet at home - the payer of the bill is the responsible party for the actions of the users, even if you choose to offer free, anonymous access Smile

Technically if you're going outdoors, Ruckus Wireless make really good gear for harsh climate (sun/rain/cold/everything in the same day) environments. Each AP will need a protected power source and data connection to a central point, and the central point will need a good sized transmission connection to the Interwebs....







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96 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 11

  Reply # 786343 24-Mar-2013 18:01
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Thank you to all who have taken time to chip in. After reading the posts and other info I realise the best option will be for the group to seek a proven system, especially for security and the allocation of time or data. I feel confident that with the co-operation of the local businesses, a site or sites and a broadband connection will be relatively easy. I will PM you Ray, thanks for your offer.

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