Broadband Communities

AUG-SEP 2017

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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48 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 TECHNOLOGY Student-housing residents may not realize their wireless routers interfere with one another, degrading wireless service in a building. Order Versus Chaos In Student Housing In dense housing, resident-owned wireless routers play havoc with internet quality. Sometimes a gentle reminder to turn off these routers isn't enough. By Andrew Marshall / Campus Technologies S tudent-housing residents have a very simple requirement for internet access: It should just work. It should work with any device, and it should work reliably all the time. If it doesn't, they may well move somewhere else. On the surface, this sounds like a reasonably straightforward problem to solve. e reality, of course, is a lot more complicated. ere are two broad types of student- housing community in which internet access is provided to residents as an amenity – those that provide wired connections only and those that provide both wired and wireless connections. In the first case, usually in older properties, residents usually arrive with wireless routers they've either purchased new or brought from home. In a typical 200-unit, 600-bed community, that means anywhere from 200 to 600 low-cost, totally unmanaged wireless routers are operating in very close proximity to one another, sometimes separated only by a piece of drywall or plywood. Even worse, because most of these are operated on the default out-of-the-box settings, most are on the same channels. e result is an overwhelming storm of radio energy, with many routers interfering with one another and drastically raising what we refer to as the noise floor. Of course, residents don't know this. ey see strong, four-bar signals, and they believe the wireless is perfectly good because they're getting four bars. However, internet performance is pathetically slow (because of the high noise floor and interference, but they don't realize that), so they conclude the property internet service is defective – even though the wired service may be perfectly good. e only way to fix this problem is to install a competent, enterprise-grade, dense, well-engineered wireless network. is brings us neatly to the second category of properties, those that provide wired and wireless internet networks for their residents. MANAGED WI-FI NETWORKS To be clear, a wired and wireless network isn't the kind cable modems provide. is article refers to engineered, professional, enterprise- grade, managed wired and wireless networks – the definitive standard for purpose-built student housing. In some student housing served by cable companies, a cable modem is installed in each unit, sometimes with Wi-Fi attached. is

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