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uk.telecom.broadband (UK broadband) (uk.telecom.broadband) Discussion of broadband services, technology and equipment as provided in the UK. Discussions of specific services based on ADSL, cable modems or other broadband technology are also on-topic. Advertising is not allowed.

Community wireless broadband solution?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 12th 06, 02:26 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
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Default Community wireless broadband solution?

How to get some sort of broadband to a few locations in a
mountain/island area? Telco is unable to provide a DSL service.

Thinking about wireless. Line of sight problems prevent 'star'
configuration. Was wondering whether a kind of wireless ring around
locations might work, (thinking that a ring might help if any node
fails for some reason), sharing a suitable ISP service at another
point where DSL is available?

Checked some manufacturer sites and some community sites, but unable
to get much detail on hop distances, frequency bands, or even suitable
network architectures.

It's a bit sparse. Inter-site hops are typically 3Km, shortest is 1Km
over water, longest is 6 Km over water. Presumably 'licence-exempt'
kit would not have the power for these ranges? Any suggestions for
bands and equipment? Looking for capacity to enable normal
participation on the Internet now and in the future - both domestic
and SoHo. Users would expect to pay normal ISP & line charges, plus
funding the community equipment investment & maintenance.

Would appreciate any comments or advice.


______________
best wishes,
Ron
  #2  
Old August 12th 06, 03:21 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
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Posts: n/a
Default Community wireless broadband solution?


"Ronnie" wrote in message
...
How to get some sort of broadband to a few locations in a
mountain/island area? Telco is unable to provide a DSL service.

Thinking about wireless. Line of sight problems prevent 'star'
configuration. Was wondering whether a kind of wireless ring around
locations might work, (thinking that a ring might help if any node
fails for some reason), sharing a suitable ISP service at another
point where DSL is available?

Checked some manufacturer sites and some community sites, but unable
to get much detail on hop distances, frequency bands, or even suitable
network architectures.

It's a bit sparse. Inter-site hops are typically 3Km, shortest is 1Km
over water, longest is 6 Km over water. Presumably 'licence-exempt'
kit would not have the power for these ranges? Any suggestions for
bands and equipment? Looking for capacity to enable normal
participation on the Internet now and in the future - both domestic
and SoHo. Users would expect to pay normal ISP & line charges, plus
funding the community equipment investment & maintenance.

Would appreciate any comments or advice.


______________
best wishes,
Ron


To which part of the UK are you referring?
I seem to recall that there was a programme to put broadband into
"non-cost-effective" locations in Scotland (Highlands and Islands) a while
back. Wales has/had? a similar (if half-hearted) scheme I believe.
George


  #3  
Old August 12th 06, 05:16 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
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Posts: n/a
Default Community wireless broadband solution?

On Sat, 12 Aug 2006 15:21:11 +0100, "George Weston"
wrote:


"Ronnie" wrote in message
...
How to get some sort of broadband to a few locations in a
mountain/island area?


To which part of the UK are you referring?
I seem to recall that there was a programme to put broadband into
"non-cost-effective" locations in Scotland (Highlands and Islands) a while
back. Wales has/had? a similar (if half-hearted) scheme I believe.
George


The location is in Scotland. There are/were two Scottish broadband
initiatives.

There *may* be funding support from the Scottish Executive if there is
a dependable (low fault rate, reasonable economic life, practical
maintainability) solution and there are *businesses* requring it. The
community wants to find a workable solution, with performance that
they can specifiy, and that will scale with evolving demands for
bandwidth. We find that Internet applications increasingly require
higher bandwidth (SSL, graphic-heavy, mini-applications to download)
and will probably continue to require increased bandwidth.

There was another SE initiative for 'broadband everywhere' which
seemed to be really to a 'point of presence', not to particular users.
The community is trying to solve the *last mile* infrastructure (well,
last few Kms, really) problems in its district.


______________
best wishes,
Ron
  #4  
Old August 12th 06, 09:15 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Community wireless broadband solution?

Ronnie wrote:
On Sat, 12 Aug 2006 15:21:11 +0100, "George Weston"
wrote:

"Ronnie" wrote in message
...
How to get some sort of broadband to a few locations in a
mountain/island area?

To which part of the UK are you referring?
I seem to recall that there was a programme to put broadband into
"non-cost-effective" locations in Scotland (Highlands and Islands) a while
back. Wales has/had? a similar (if half-hearted) scheme I believe.
George


The location is in Scotland. There are/were two Scottish broadband
initiatives.

There *may* be funding support from the Scottish Executive if there is
a dependable (low fault rate, reasonable economic life, practical
maintainability) solution and there are *businesses* requring it. The
community wants to find a workable solution, with performance that
they can specifiy, and that will scale with evolving demands for
bandwidth. We find that Internet applications increasingly require
higher bandwidth (SSL, graphic-heavy, mini-applications to download)
and will probably continue to require increased bandwidth.

There was another SE initiative for 'broadband everywhere' which
seemed to be really to a 'point of presence', not to particular users.
The community is trying to solve the *last mile* infrastructure (well,
last few Kms, really) problems in its district.


______________
best wishes,
Ron


Ofcom is currently reviewing the 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless frequency
bands, with a view towards increasing the maximum permitted ?signal
strength? to 10W, IIRC. If/when that happens, off-the-shelf wireless kit
"might" meet your needs - if you get some really good antennae.

Oh, and have you found http://www.solwise.co.uk/los.htm yet? Fairly good.

Most long-range point-to-point wireless links use microwaves - but IIRC,
you need to get a license from Ofcom for that, and the equipment is
expensive. So best to try the unlicensed stuff first .

Backhaul - the cheapest, obviously, is some sort of DSL-based service,
but depending on how many users you have and what sort of reliability
you're after, might not be enough. As for the network topology, a ring
would probably be best as long as every location has (radio) LoS to
it's two neighbours - you'll at least have two points of redundancy,
(with the caveat that two failures could take out a major chunk of the
ring, so you'd be better off having at least a few cross-links as well,
if you can budget for them).

Depending on how things go, and what the terrain is like, you might not
want to limit yourself to wireless - for instance, for that 6km over
water stretch (where is it going? Skara Brae? ) sounds pretty hard -
and very expensive - using wireless; so it might be more practical -
even cheaper? - with underwater fiber-optics. Haven't done any sums,
mind you . But if it lets you get away with a lower-spec. system for
the rest of the area, that's bound to save at least a bit of money.

Well, until the dogfish bite a chunk out of the cable...

xF,

....Nick
  #5  
Old August 12th 06, 09:32 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Community wireless broadband solution?

In article ,
Owain wrote:

Buckfastleigh Broadband
http://www.broadband-buckfastleigh.org/


Hehe... I built this, and still live in the area. I actually picked
Buckfastleigh to live in because of this project (we were looking to
move to Devon anyway) It was a lot of fun, and we learned a lot.

And I built the commercial setup that came after it too (working for
1st Broadband, now well defunct) We also had 2 areas of Cornwall wired
up with WiFi too. 10Mb backhauls to Exeter and a mixture of 2.4Ghz and
5.7Ghz kit to provide infrastructure.

Would I do it again, or recommend anyone to do it? No way! We went
tits-up.com because it was never commercially viable. WiFi is rubbish.
No, I'll correct that, WiFi is great - for what it was designed for. What
I found was that just one or 2 selfish *******s could cripple the entire
network. WiFi is half duplex, and don't let anyone try to convince you
otherwise. One person doing large uploads will kill it for people doing
downloads. Gaming and VoIP kills it too (WiFi was designed & optimised
for large packets, small packets kill it) We also had "issues" with
people paying. Or not paying, as it turned out.

Also, the real cost of installing it was somewhere over £250 per house,
and no-one was willing to pay that, and that didn't cover things like
rental of farms, and goodwill gestures to people to host relay stations,
etc. Trying to get more than £20 a month out of people was very difficult
too. Over 120 people promised to sign up for the commercial system,
and less than 50 did so when it went live (in one area)

I'm not bitter (really!) it might seem that way, but I had great fun
with it all, but I'd never do it again, nor advise anyone to do it on a
commercial scale unless you live somewhere completely flat. Devon and
Cornwall is far from flat, alas, and you quickly run out of goodwill
when you want to install relay stations, routers, etc. in peoples houses.

Most of our install cost went on installing decent outdoor quality kit.
(the WiFi stuff was all SmartBridges - Ethernet directly to the outdoor
box - none of this run a bit of co-ax outdoors stuff, you want quality,
keep the co-ax runs to an absolute minimal) If you want to give any sort
of quality assurance at all, it absolutely must be line of sight, and
don't forget the fresnel zone! So we employed TV aerial fitters to do a
proper job (and these people were insured!) so that cost money too. By
all means DIY it, but be prepared for people to whinge about drilling
holes through houses, etc.

And you need to control the abusers, the peer to peer file stealers and
so on. You need to do this right at the access point they connect to,
even then they'll still cause havoc for others using that access point,
so that requires expensive access points with traffic shaping built in
- or a mesh unit (we never used the commercial mesh units - didn't reckon
they'd work in our situation at the time)

Feel free to get in-touch if you like, but personally I'd recommend you
to run away from a WiFi project - UNLESS you make it truly community
based with EVERYONE involved prepared to pay their own way, and sign
disclaimers, etc. (not that they are worth anything, but it's a start!)

Good luck!

Gordon
  #6  
Old August 12th 06, 09:39 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
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Posts: n/a
Default Community wireless broadband solution?

In article , Ronnie wrote:

It's a bit sparse. Inter-site hops are typically 3Km, shortest is 1Km
over water, longest is 6 Km over water. Presumably 'licence-exempt'
kit would not have the power for these ranges? Any suggestions for
bands and equipment?


Actually, it does, but it absolutely must have line of sight, and you
might need directional antennae - grid parabolics, and so on. The longest
run to a customer premises we did was 6 miles - there was a 9db omni at
the access point end, and an 18db grid parabolic at the customers end.
If the water is tidal, it'll have an effect to a degree. Look up "fresnel
zone" as what might at first look like line of sight might not be when
you consider the fresnel zone...

We also had a 5.7Ghz Aperto link going over 17 miles too, but that had
2-foot dishes at each end... (and was £several K's worth of kit!)

If you want "carrier grade" have a look at http://www.orthogonsystems.com/
but they've just been bought out by Motorola, but it's not cheap!!!


Looking for capacity to enable normal
participation on the Internet now and in the future - both domestic
and SoHo. Users would expect to pay normal ISP & line charges, plus
funding the community equipment investment & maintenance.

Would appreciate any comments or advice.


See my other post. Give up. Put sattelite in a location which might be
a line of sight "hub" betwen 2-3 punters wanting service and share it
between them...

Good luck!

Gordon
  #7  
Old August 13th 06, 10:45 AM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
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Posts: n/a
Default Community wireless broadband solution?

Ronnie wrote:
On Sat, 12 Aug 2006 15:21:11 +0100, "George Weston"
wrote:


"Ronnie" wrote in message
...

How to get some sort of broadband to a few locations in a
mountain/island area?


To which part of the UK are you referring?
I seem to recall that there was a programme to put broadband into
"non-cost-effective" locations in Scotland (Highlands and Islands) a while
back. Wales has/had? a similar (if half-hearted) scheme I believe.
George



The location is in Scotland. There are/were two Scottish broadband
initiatives.

There *may* be funding support from the Scottish Executive if there is
a dependable (low fault rate, reasonable economic life, practical
maintainability) solution and there are *businesses* requring it. The
community wants to find a workable solution, with performance that
they can specifiy, and that will scale with evolving demands for
bandwidth. We find that Internet applications increasingly require
higher bandwidth (SSL, graphic-heavy, mini-applications to download)
and will probably continue to require increased bandwidth.

There was another SE initiative for 'broadband everywhere' which
seemed to be really to a 'point of presence', not to particular users.
The community is trying to solve the *last mile* infrastructure (well,
last few Kms, really) problems in its district.



I assume you are aware of the Connected Communities project
in Western Isles? It would be worth talking to someone
there, as they've been through it all and have a working
system. Their radio links to subscribers are symmetric,
capable of up to 5 Mbps, I believe, though the retail
products are limited to 2 Mbps.
  #8  
Old August 13th 06, 03:59 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Community wireless broadband solution?

In article ,
John Naismith wrote:

The Connected Communities project has done little but swallow up
public money while denying people the chance of broadband for 2 years.
For example villages with "Connected Communities" transceivers will
never have their exchanges ADSL enabled so they're stuck on 2Mbps
while in the next village everyone can get 8Mbps and have had
broadband for 2 years in some cases. Every exchange on the island has
ADSL apart from the "Connected Communities" villages. What's worse is
that in villages just about everyone is within 2km of the exchange so
high speed ADSL (10Mbps+) is actually deliverable to most people.


Fascinating! When we did the initial Buckfastleigh project, BT told
us out exchange would never be viable, then towards the end, they said
that they were going to enable our exchange that month, thus effectively
shafting any private entreprise... In the end they didn't, so the private
enterprise (1st Broadband) went ahead, but they eventually enabled the
exchange anyway (some 2 years later)

I guess in this case, it's the public money bit that might be causing BT
to stall the local exchanges (so why don't the CC villagers just hijack
the network and backhaul from a neighbouring village than rely on their
overloaded backhauls ;-)

Gordon
  #9  
Old August 14th 06, 05:31 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
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Posts: n/a
Default Community wireless broadband solution?

Don't know if is of much help but you might try looking at
www.eastserve.com They developed a wired up wifi community 4 years ago
and its still going strong. There are several wired up communities in
the UK providing wireless broadband

Ian Runci


Gordon Henderson wrote:

In article ,
John Naismith wrote:

The Connected Communities project has done little but swallow up
public money while denying people the chance of broadband for 2 years.
For example villages with "Connected Communities" transceivers will
never have their exchanges ADSL enabled so they're stuck on 2Mbps
while in the next village everyone can get 8Mbps and have had
broadband for 2 years in some cases. Every exchange on the island has
ADSL apart from the "Connected Communities" villages. What's worse is
that in villages just about everyone is within 2km of the exchange so
high speed ADSL (10Mbps+) is actually deliverable to most people.


Fascinating! When we did the initial Buckfastleigh project, BT told
us out exchange would never be viable, then towards the end, they said
that they were going to enable our exchange that month, thus effectively
shafting any private entreprise... In the end they didn't, so the private
enterprise (1st Broadband) went ahead, but they eventually enabled the
exchange anyway (some 2 years later)

I guess in this case, it's the public money bit that might be causing BT
to stall the local exchanges (so why don't the CC villagers just hijack
the network and backhaul from a neighbouring village than rely on their
overloaded backhauls ;-)

Gordon


  #10  
Old August 15th 06, 02:11 PM posted to uk.telecom.broadband
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Community wireless broadband solution?

John Naismith wrote:
On Sun, 13 Aug 2006 10:45:40 +0100, JW wrote:


I assume you are aware of the Connected Communities project
in Western Isles? It would be worth talking to someone
there, as they've been through it all and have a working
system. Their radio links to subscribers are symmetric,
capable of up to 5 Mbps, I believe, though the retail
products are limited to 2 Mbps.



It works IF there are no links across tidal water. Unfortunately there
are and they don't work for large periods of time. The backhaul is
MASSIVELY overcontended and support is awful. We're talking so bad
they make ISPs like Plusnet look good.

The Connected Communities project has done little but swallow up
public money while denying people the chance of broadband for 2 years.
For example villages with "Connected Communities" transceivers will
never have their exchanges ADSL enabled so they're stuck on 2Mbps
while in the next village everyone can get 8Mbps and have had
broadband for 2 years in some cases. Every exchange on the island has
ADSL apart from the "Connected Communities" villages. What's worse is
that in villages just about everyone is within 2km of the exchange so
high speed ADSL (10Mbps+) is actually deliverable to most people.

In short "Connected Communities" is close to being a total disaster.

Not the best example to pick ;-)


But maybe the only one, and there's probably a reason for
that. It's not easy to produce solutions that please
everybody - you just have to aim at the highest number
that's practical.

I take it that you are, then, in the WI and you are looking
to compete with CC and BT?

I expect the tidal water problem could be overcome with a
bit more experience. What proportion of users are affected
by this? Here's hoping there are no windmills in the way

Crofting communities are pretty spread out, and the
"exchanges" may be no more than concentrators, with limited
capacity links to the main exchange.

When you say the "backhaul" is contended, are you referring
to the off-island link? That would be an issue for any
network.

Support for, at most, a few thousand users in a community of
25,000 is never going to be the best, at least not at any
affordable consumer pricing.
 




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