Newbie setting up wireless internet system for camp site.

We are a Satellite TV installation company, here in Eastern Spain. We specialise in Communal UK TV, for expats. We have recently been given the opportunity to invest in, and install a "Pay To Use" Internet Service Provider system for a static home camping site, where we are already installing UK Satellite TV feeds, some 100 of them. The camp site does not have telephone lines going to it, and will not have, for the foreseeable future. The campers will be pretty much there all year round, so they will need Internet Access via their own PC's, and we would also like to be able to offer them a VOIP option. We have a building in a near-by village, where we can have ADSL phone lines bought in, and is in "Line Of Sight" about 1 - 2 kilometres away, with a "Centro Commercial" building on the camp site, which is placed centrally on the camp, up at the top end. The plots although, do not have "Line Of Sight" with our building in the village. We were originally going to deploy a standard WiFi system to the site (end customers use their own wireless connectivity), and use the services of a billing company, to spec. up, maintain and collect revenue for the system. But because this is a new site, and at the moment only has two potential end customers for us (they expect to fill the site within about two years), we found that their standing charges were too high, for the amount of revenue we would collect in the first instance. To get things started, we have decided to try and DIY it. We need to start with a small, but expandable system. The end customers will not be transient, so we have decided that in the first instance (unless advised differently), we would like to install a system, where we simply "lock-down" all the connections, and just physically collect a monthly rent for a connection to it, via the equipment (Ethernet/Wireless Link) we rent to them. To explain my line of thinking a bit better, I was thinking on the lines of the following. We start with just 1 ADSL line, connected to a standard DSL Modem with Ethernet Out (more lines/modems to be added later, as the system usage expands). From the Modem/Modems, into an Ethernet switch. From the Ethernet switch, we connect to a "Point 2 Point" Ethernet building link, like the Ubiquiti Nanobridge M Airmax Mimo Wireless PTP Kit. This links the village 1-2 Kilometres away, with the building in the middle, at the top end of our camp site. From the output of the PTP kit we connect to a professional router, then from the router, we use an 180o roof mounted external antenna, to transmit a low power signal around the camp site (maximum distance 400 metres). On each of the pitches, we rent the end user a Wireless to Ethernet bridge, again with external directional antenna, pointing at the central building on the camp site. This Wireless Ethernet bridge, would ideally have two Ethernet connectors, one for the end users PC connection to the Internet, and the other to a VOIP adaptor, which they would also have the option of renting from us (if they opt for the telephone service). Each Wireless Ethernet bridge we rent out, would have its own unique MAC number (1 or 2 for each pitch). We would remotely control allowance or disallowance access to the system from our office (many kilometres away), over the internet, updating the router with which MAC codes to allow/disallow, depending upon the end customers account status with us.

We are total newbie's to this area of technology, although we do have a reasonable good knowledge of RF signals. We would like peoples opinion on the above, including suggestions on what equipment to use. We are funding this speculative project ourselves, so cost is an issue (especially the Wireless/Ethernet Bridges). Our main concerns would be the following.

  1. Price of the Wireless Ethernet bridges (major concern)
  2. Security of the system against unauthorised usage
  3. Being able to remotely control the MAC address allows/disallows
  4. Making sure that the VOIP adaptor outputs have good "Quality of Service" available from our system
  5. The Wireless Ethernet bridges can be "locked down" securely.
  6. Router and Ethernet bridges have Antenna connectors suitable for external Antenna use.
  7. We may at some point like to have different levels of service available to the end user (speed/data usage), this could be set in the Router or in the Wireless Ethernet bridges, but again we would like to be able to control these levels of service options, remotely.

This all happens near a smallish Spanish village, and although I have not scanned the spectrum, my guess is there will not be a lot of Radio traffic in the area. We will soak up advice willingly, if you will help, TIA.

Second part to the question. We will probably change over to a more "professional" system at a later date, and install Wireless Access Points across the site, so that they can use their own wireless enabled PC's. Whilst we are laying cables etc, it would seem a good idea to lay any Ethernet cables along side our Satellite TV cables, even if we don't use them straight away. I need further advice on what cables we should be laying. We are installing 11 TV hubs (which have mains power) evenly scattered across the site, but the distances involved (some more than 100 metres), as I understand it, are too much for Ethernet cabling. Although the long runs are broken up with our TV hubs. Do we need to run a separate Ethernet cable for each access point, back to a central point? Or can we split the signal (for want of a better expression) between more than one hub, from a single Ethernet cable?

Regards Mark S. (remove the X to reply)

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Where are the VoIP calls going to get onto the PSTN? Over the internet or in your office? Keep in mind how many concurrent calls you'll be able to get down your DSL, and what sort of QoS you'll need if your VoIP traffic will be sharing a line with internet traffic. More about the VoIP bit later...

There are plenty of software building blocks out there available for free if you want to DIY it, eg captive portals:

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Routers/firewalls that can be installed on PC hardware:

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If you can possibly countenance laying ethernet to every user, I suggest you do. It's going to be so much more reliable than wireless. However, I think you're posting in alt.internet.wireless because you don't want to do that :-)

You'll want a router/firewall that can do load balancing across multiple WANs to bring these all together,

Sounds reasonable so far.

I think you could be surprised at just how bad this could be. Multiple clients sharing an AP, at distances of up to 400m could perform horrifically badly, as the AP will have to drop its wireless rate to service the least able [ie worst signal strength] client. However, as they'll all be sharing a single DSL, it's one method of rate limiting!

You will want something more secure than MAC address authentication for this if you're going to be charging actual money for it.

Ubiquiti's prices are quite reasonable IMO, and you'll be able to use their management platform [free] to manage them. Failing that, pretty much anything you can install dd-wrt [free] on will work as a wireless bridge.

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Using MAC addresses as an access control token is not compatible with 2.

Ha. 802.11 is half duplex, shared broadcast medium. That means when one node speaks, every other node hears it. VoIP requires a good few [~50] packets per second in each direction whilst a call is active. Once you've got more than a handful of nodes connected to your AP, VoIP quality is going to suffer. Cisco [for example] recommend max 7 concurrent calls per AP:

You might able to get away with it if this network was only to be used for voice, but once somebody comes along and starts using BitTorrent or tries to watch an HD video, phone calls are going to be shit.

I'm yet to see an AP/bridge that isn't password protectable.

Ubiquiti do loads of WISP stuff as well as point-to-point so that may be of some interest to you.

Definitely. You might even consider laying fibre too.

No, each hub does not need it's own ethernet back to a central point. You can daisychain ethernet switches [or APs with switchports on] together to connect multiple devices to the same cable. With the amount of bandwidth you're talking about [single ADSL] 100M ethernet [aka Fast Ethernet] will not be a problem. Gigabit ethernet should be more than sufficient for future expansion.

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campsites - campgrounds - LOS and Wifi -

It's been discussed here several times with all the issues, concerns, hurdles, & learned lessons..

Do a search on the group and look for those previous threads

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or just a general search for the various other web-based WiFi forums.

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