No Problem Big Lar,
Good luck to you and all those involved.
Great work Lar,
Looks like I'll be dependent on FWA for the many years to come unless we win the lotto. So just a quick question you might know the answer to. When fibre optic infrastructure hits more of the country will it come within range (how close does it need to come within) so that it will be of benefit to schemes like yours and the smaller FWA companies?
This is really a great idea, not just for rural residents, also for urban areas, such as estates and apartment blocks. When I opened my laptop recently, there where 12 separate wifi networks broadcasting, and they where just the networks I could pick up in my kitchen, I estimate I could multiply that by at least 4 for the amount of private wifis in my area alone. The minimum cost of DSL broadband is about €40 per month. If instead everyone connected using just one neighbourhood network, the cost per household, should be less.
It does not need to come that close at all, With the correct gear wireless links can do 50 - 60 miles at ease, 10GHz gear is being perfected at them moment which can reach up to 450 Mbit throughput.
I dunno about that Oracle, all your neighbours would be sharing the same IP address, lotza problems down that road, on our system we allocate each user a separate IP address which can be traced back to them.
Been a while but we have been busy.
At this current time we have 32 users on our network and we are steadily growing, we have 20 users on a 1Mbs connection 10 on 2Mbs and 2 users on 4Mbs so thats a total of 48Mbs in total of bandwidth sold, that gives us a contention ratio of 5:1 and with that contention we seem to have no problems with our 10Mbs backhaul supporting that many customers.
We have had a bit of downtime here and there along the way due to various issues so we have another small connection with another operator that we can fall back on should we have any down time, although our records show that we have 99.96% of uptime over the month of April it is a inconvenience for a lot of people when we do go down so it is for this reason that we have the backup, our stats are available @ http://www.wwcbb.net/?page_id=214 for anyone thats interested.
Without going into the whole money thing we hope to have all our initial investment paid back at the end of August and from there we will use the funds to further upgrade our infrastructure, UPS's Servers and the like and possible purchase more bandwidth, perhaps 15Mbs at that stage.
Over and out.
I'm well impressed. Well done and good luck with your community project.
Just read this- sounds great- well done to all!
Hi Big Lar,
Great to see determination paying off, how much backhaul have you available to you now?
Still on the original 10Meg, we will be debt free in sept/Oct and are hoping to purchase more bandwidth then.
at the moment we have no contention issues, if you click the link on the above post you will see our usage but down the road we will need to provide our users with more bandwidth for Netflix and the likes.
Going to expand a bit on our group.
Our reason for being:
Most houses in our area cannot avail of DSL, we had a few fixed wireless providers in the area, One of them moved from the area due to operational reasons and the other went into liquidation, in fairness to both of the providers the terrain here in West Waterford is nothing but humps and hollows and getting into all the nooks and cranny's here for them is a costly business so we were left with dongle power then a couple of got together and had a go.
It should be noted that our purpose is to enhance the broadband experience in rural Ireland and by providing service for pennies we would be only choking other operators which does not benefit the wider community so for that purpose we provide our started package of 1Mbs of bandwidth for €20.00, this is well below the quoted 6Mb for around €20.00pm that mobile operators offer. Upgrading our speed over time will still leave plenty of room for other providers to operate profitably in our area.
All our gear is Ubitiquiti, there are other manufactures out there like Mikrotik but the reason that we went with it is because I had a small bit of experience with it over the past years and its priced very competitively, we have three access points at the moment comprising of two 120deg Sectors and 1 omni directional antenna, we run all 5ghz as it is unlicensed which offers less complications for us.
For the householder we have either use Nanostation M5's or the cheaper Nanostation Loco M5 for shorter and less noisy links, we also have a few point to point links for back haul where we use Nanobridges and 30dbi dishes.
Ubitiquiti boast a throughput of 150bs through their kit but thats in a perfect scenario with no noise(unwanted interference), we use a half beamwith on our kit as it doubles our signal strength but on the other side it hald the throughput which theoretically gives us 75mbs but the most I have seen acrosss or networks in speed tests is around 30 - 40Mbs.
Our Access Points:
As I have mentioned in earlier posts we have been lucky enough to be able to place equipment on a couple of farmers sheds which are located on high ground and for their use we offer the farmers a free connection, apart from them no one else gets a free connection, everyone else on the group pays including myself.
Originally we wanted to get on a mast and transmit from there but mast space is expensive and we have gotten quotes up as far as €7,000.00 per year for a bit of space so that option is ruled out, actually while I am on it: The norm for mast space seems to be between €150.00 to €300.00 per month.
We have had a bit of downtime over the last 7 months for so may reasons so we have invested in a secondary small link from another operator to provide backup, people do depend on our service so we do do our best to serve them as best we can.
Time and effort:
It took a nice bit of time at the start to get everything up and running but after that it pretty much runs itself, we do get the odd call out here and there which takes up a few hours a week but nothing major as yet.
Our project will have surplus funds from Oct/Nov onwards but we need to continue to reinvest in our links making them better and more reliable, we need UPS's on all our Access points and a proper server.
So whats in it for me I hear you ask:
Well I now have fast reliable internet, I have gotten rid of my two eircom lines and now use Voip for all my calls which is saving way more than the €40.00 per month that my Internet costs .
Then there is the sense of achievement, I look around and say "I did that"
and of course Gemeinschaftsgefuhl
"The German word Gemeinschaftsgefuhl means feeling of community, of belonging. It means having to work at something that transcends not only one's own person, but also the small group to which one belongs. It transcends the family, one's church affiliation, one's race. It has to do with melting into or relating oneself to the community of man, or as people often name it more poetically, the brotherhood of man." (From "The Collected Works of Lydia Sicher: An Adlerian Perspective,")
One of the units on our point 2 point links burned out yesterday leaving 10 users stranded for 24 hours, finally after a good few hours of head scratching and a few spares we got it all up and running again this morning. We have put it down to a lightning strike.
Texted the few punters on the AP to keep them up to speed on the works and they were understandable enough. Public relations seems to be the key in this game
This, this, and a million times this!
Outages are inevitable; all people want is to be kept informed.
From my own experience (Callidus/Omitel/Ripplecom) and from reading here, PR and communications seems to be the biggest bug bear of Irish broadbad customers.
Indeed, my provider puts updates on their twitter account however when you don't have a smartphone (or no mobile coverage if you do) to access then whatchagonnado?
So I says to myself that i will part with a bit of knowledge.
As I have already mentioned we use 5.8Ghz equipment, as can be seen in the screen shot below it has about 19 channels that can be used in Ireland.
We have 3 access points which we have users connected to and two point to point links, one which connects us to our back haul and the other that provides a link between our two access points.
We live in a area with masts surrounding us on two sides and this provides us with a lot of noise (Unwanted Signals), so before we setup an access point we do a scan and select the frequency with the lowest noise, this is grand at the Access Point but the user may be at a way higher altitude and they may have interference from antenna's close to them transmitting on the same frequency, so it took us a while to cop on to that one.
We use Nanostations on all the houses try to connect our users with a signal level of under -80Dbi as that is the real minimum signal where data can be sent without packet loss, but sometimes noise levels can be around -85dbi at the users house so this poses a big problem for us, with high noise levels it really shags up the data rate of the users device an also results in packet loss, so then we have to go higher with the gear or use equipment with a stronger signal like a Nanobridge to overcome the noise, at the moment we have one such client that is in a massively high noise are and we are trying hard to get him sorted, a Nanobridge will catch a lot of wind and we are afraid that the existing pole will not be able for it so we have aluminum shields specially designed for reducing noise coming from the US which will encase the users device and hopefully protect it from background noise.
There is a nice little vid here of how it works http://www.rfarmor.com/unsk235.avi
So hopefully that should sort out that fella when it comes.
Should look something like this when tis up