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301 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 36

# 39218 11-Aug-2009 13:34
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Greetings all,

I thought I'd ask here about renting roofspace for a wireless AP / Repeater.

Long story short, what I'm hoping to achieve is a long-range wireless setup between a couple of points around a small suburb in West Auckland.

Now, there's one building (Apartments) which are relatively tall (If you're in the area you'll know what I'm talking about), and they appear to have decent LOS to the places we want to interconnect.

Having never done a long-range WiFi setup before, I figured the first thing I should do is approach the building owners and see if they would be open to the idea of me renting some roofspace from them where I can pop an antenna up and keep it powered. They seemed fine with the idea, however they also had no idea about what would be considered a "fair" amount, and said they would also need to run it past the body corporate of apartment owners there to get their approval. With that in mind he suggested I come up with a figure and he'll bring it up at their next meeting.

What I guess I'm asking is "What is a fair amount for them to be asking from us?", and are there any large pitfalls I should worry about in undertaking such an adventure? I've done a lot of small-time wireless around residential / SOHO, repeaters / bridges etc, but never anything long-range such as this.
It isn't going to be a mission-critical wireless setup, so in the event it does die for some reason or another, if its down for 24 hours we're probably not going to be too upset.

Then the topic came up "If we're going to have some big antennas on the roof, why not offer Internet Access to the rest of the people in the apartment, at a later date, rather than them finding their own through dial-up etc?", which is something I'd potentially be interested in doing (Have used pfSense etc a bit before with captive portals), but one step at a time ...

Any advice / thoughts / comments would be greatly appreciated

Kind regards


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8033 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 390


  # 245215 11-Aug-2009 14:55
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A fair price is what you're willing to pay and they are willing to accept, obviously Tongue out

As long as there is a clear LOS between the points and you're using suitable gear for the distance I don't see any major problems.

301 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 36

  # 245241 11-Aug-2009 15:48
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I dunno, is it something like $50 a month? $500 a month? Naturally I'd prefer the first option, but I dunno what the "going rate" is. I know that an AP + Antenna isnt likely to use a lot of power though ;)


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Uber Geek
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  # 245379 11-Aug-2009 21:50
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I would say something in the range of $100-$200 is probably fair, all depends on how you are bolting the antenna down (so what potential future damage are you causing?), how much power it will be taking, how often you'll need access etc.

I would also get a basic contract written up outlining the agreement, setting a term of say 12 months, and also mentioning that you retain full ownership to the equipment at all times, and it's not to be touched without your written consent.

Last thing you want is a contractor helping themselves, or the building claiming it's there's.

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Uber Geek
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  # 246305 13-Aug-2009 21:44
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I am on one of the best sites in Napier and pay $100+gst per month per antenna.
Although I do not have 24/hr access if i have to reset any equipment.

I am also on a few people's roofs - single story houses with good views in good places. They get a 5gb internet connection for free and i have a small box on the outside of their house near the fenceline if i need to restart something.

The Antennas dont need to be huge - check out the Ubiquiti Nanostations avaliable from Go Wifi

Things to keep in mind when selling the idea to them
- Antennas are not huge and obtrusive
- A few dollars each year off each of their body fees
- Power usage would be small - around $5 per month.

Avoid selling them the idea of you acting as an ISP for cheaper group discounted access. You will be pressured to get it working fast and it will cost you a fair bit to get coverage to all the stories from good angles. Your antennas on the roof are not going to penetrate down to the other floors so get your main project working, then come back and install some other equipment to relay the signals around the apartments. If you have the right upstream connections to the internet and a pack of ip addresses, you could easily offer them a 5gb connection for $30 and turn it into a profitable service.

Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)

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

301 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 246333 13-Aug-2009 22:51
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Awesome, cool, thanks for that feedback, gives me some more food for thought :)

237 posts

Master Geek
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  # 248396 18-Aug-2009 22:24
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I was involved with a high rise apartment building in Sydney, they were getting Aust $75 per month for someone to have an antenna on their roof, so something in the order of NZ$100 per month would appear to be fair.

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