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Old July 5, 2009, 11:05 PM
Prof. Dr. Silver's Avatar
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Default Need some advice from Network Gurus

Here it goes: Ive been playing with the idea of creating a large wired/wireless network in the apartment building I live in and perhaps use this as a small business opportunity. This is still in the VERY early thinking of stage, so bare with me. I have a few reasons for doing so.

Number 1 reason: I hate Rogers for the exorbitant amount of money they charge for their internet usage! In the building I live are 23 floors with 10 apartments each. The average price for Rogers internet access is around $ 45 tax in. Lets say that 75%(172.5) of the apt. has internet which totals approx $ 7,500.00(!) Myself, being a real Dutch Cheapass, thinks this is retarded! (Keep those numbers in your mind)

Number 2 reason: Buying bulk makes it cheaper for everyone, so does sharing. Heres what Im thinking: In Holland it is fairly common to share an internet connection via wireless. One person pays for it, gets a router, hands out a wireless key and receives half the money of the internet cost from the neighbour. If there is more interest, hand out more keys and lower your cost! Sharing is caring right?

Now that is my idea for our apt. building. I would like to set up a huge wired/wireless network throughout my building so that everyone has access to it. I actually prefer wireless because I believe that gives me the least issues/work to set it all up. I need advice on pretty much everything though since Im a fairly big network n00b

Heres what Im thinking:
Run fibre-optic from the street into the building (less than $ 1000 monthly cost)
Put a wireless N- access point ($ ~75 ea.) up on every floor in the ceiling of the hallways. One should be enough on every floor and if we criss/cross them through the building we should have optimal signals everywhere. There is power and space for cables.
Put a good quality wireless N router on the ground floor. No more CAT cables necessary because the system connects/expands via WDS
I would need a device(switch) that converts fiber into RJ45 signals? Are there fiber optic routers/switches (?)
Secure the network with a WPA2 key to hand out to customers (?)
Sell wireless USB sticks to apt for ($ 15 ea.)

This is how it should work: Initial building/network setup is done by me and this is financed by the landlord/building owner. They market their new service to their tenants who can sign up for cheap wireless internet. The network setup is an investment for them with a possible great return. Only a few pennies need to be calculated in the monthly cost for the internet. Now depending on the cost for all of this we can now calculate the price for internet access. The more people sign up the cheaper it could be. Example: The same amount of people give up Rogers and sign up for ONLY $ 10 a month (That is on average $ 420 in savings per year per apt, compared to Rogers), the building would still have an income of approx $ 1700 per month. Fibre is cost $ 1000 per month, so they could be netting $ 700 :)

Now for a few questions: Where does one get fibre optic and what does it cost?(Found it). How much bandwidth does one apt building need/use? What speeds are necessary? How many devices could I connect to this network? How may IP adresses would I need? Is this setup somewhat decent? How would one go about kicking people who stopped paying of your network? How to go about monitoring bandwidth usage? Attached is a pic of the buildings floorplan btw. Have a look!

Fire off all comments you may have and Im always open for tips, suggestions, etc.

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Last edited by Prof. Dr. Silver; July 6, 2009 at 05:32 AM. Reason: Added information
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Sounds like it is a great business venture however a couple of things come to mind.

1. You will most likely have to get a high end business line (if they permit it without having a business license or if they will let the landlord/company that owns the building to do it).

2. Bandwidth, bandwidth, bandwidth. You would have to see what kind of service you can get that'll give you x amount of speed. Using your own numbers and if everyone gets internet thats about 230 connections using this bandwidth. You would first have to see what the highest amount you can get, your brick wall could be here, you may not be able to get fast enough speeds to properly support all 230 connections without it potentially running into poor internet speeds.

With rogers, lets say you get the Rogers Extreme (since i can't see business lines) which is 10 megabits per second download, that translate into roughly 43 kilobits per second per connection, that is rather crap for today's standard even paying 10$ a month and your upload speeds would be even worse. Not to mention the actual bandwidth limitations per month as well since rogers only offers a 95 GB for the month.

With bell, lets say you get the Max 16, which is 16 megabits per second download, which translate into 69 kilobits per second, again that is kinda crap and same with what your upload speeds would be, as well as the bandwidth issues.

Again mind you this is just taking what is offered at residential levels, there could be better offers at a business level, don't know what their requirements are.

3. The legality, i'm not sure if this is actually legal for you to do this, i would check with the agreement with bell/rogers with their home/business as to not get banned from their services.

4. This ties into number 2, what if some people have more then one computer/ip using device such as a 360/PS3, that'll eat up more bandwidth on the system as well

5. Torrents/downloading. What happens if you have people whom download or use torrents alot, they would be throttling the connection a bit as their downloads would attempt and most likely take priority over the rest of the network. You can try to block a lot of ports but there are always ways of getting around it. How do you offer a fair/consistent speed to all the tenants if someone is leeching an unfair amount at once. You could install network monitoring software though if you limit how much they can download a month you become no different then rogers/bell.

6. What about people whom do not have wireless network adapters for their computers/360/PS3/etc or do not believe in them (personally i prefer to be hard wired into a network, it is more secure that way) or support their rigs support the adapters.

7. Encryption protocols, you would of course need these so that non-paying residence would not be able to steal internet, as well as each others potentially important information. As well, some older systems/cards either don't support certain encryptions which would screw some members over, or make the network more suspect to being cracked. (WEP is a horrible encryption that i can crack in about 5 to 10 mins)

8. More to come, though chat with me on irc Prof

Last edited by Arinoth; July 5, 2009 at 11:33 PM.
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Old July 5, 2009, 11:41 PM
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As for number 1, 2 and 4... that is the reason why I said fiber optic. I just don't know who offers it, for how much etc... This would be the only way you could sustain this amount of traffic...

For # 3: I don't see how this is illegal. If I want a fiber connection to my door and I pay for it, isn't it up to me what I do with it? Rogers or Bell might not like it due to their potential loss but that is not my issue. In the end I think the landlord/building owner is going to end up as the responsible party for the internet and then it is setup as a business.

Number 5 is going to be an issue if bandwidth is going to be limited. We could monitor it and simply say... you are crashing/trashing our connection... you are now disconnected, please come by the rental office to get a refund! :)

6. Get rid of your PS3/Xbox and get a real machine! :)
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Last edited by Prof. Dr. Silver; July 6, 2009 at 04:56 AM.
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Old July 6, 2009, 12:52 AM
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I would say DON'T DO IT!

but if your dead set on this, I can probably help you out..

I ran a large ISP for years, and hard wired a building somewhat like your suggesting...

so Im sure can talk you out of it in less than 30 mins
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Old July 6, 2009, 12:55 AM
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I've been chatting with Prof about after his reply to my post about it, hammed up some good potential ideas/alternatives to some of initial ideas, seems like it could work if planned out properly
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Old July 6, 2009, 02:37 AM
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It can work, but im pretty sure once you work out all the costs you will find that rogers/bell etc is actually a pretty good deal.
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Old July 6, 2009, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fefox View Post
I would say DON'T DO IT!

but if your dead set on this, I can probably help you out..

I ran a large ISP for years, and hard wired a building somewhat like your suggesting...

so Im sure can talk you out of it in less than 30 mins
Quote:
Originally Posted by fefox View Post
It can work, but im pretty sure once you work out all the costs you will find that rogers/bell etc is actually a pretty good deal.
Enlighten me Sir! Eg. Talk me out of it... I'd like to know what all the Pros and Cons are...

As for costs... I would REALLY like to see your reasoning how they could be cheaper!

Ps. First post edited with more info.
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Old July 6, 2009, 06:53 AM
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from rogers' TOS:

#14 Acceptable Use: You may not use the Services for anything but your own personal use. You may not resell the Services, receive any charge or benefit from the use of the services or provide Internet access or any other feature of the Services to any third party. You may not share or transfer your Services without our express consent.


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Old July 6, 2009, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeepSix View Post
from rogers' TOS:

#14 Acceptable Use: You may not use the Services for anything but your own personal use. You may not resell the Services, receive any charge or benefit from the use of the services or provide Internet access or any other feature of the Services to any third party. You may not share or transfer your Services without our express consent.


Don't worry... I won't be getting the service from Rogers... that was the whole point to begin with....
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Old July 6, 2009, 07:12 AM
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Look what I found... does this represent the real world? Now off to find some pricing...

Broadband Provider Services - Internet Connection Specifics

Business DSL - 256 kbps to 1.5 mbps connection - Shared line for 5 to 50 users. $
Fractional T1 Line - 256 kbps to 768 kbps connection - Dedicated line for 5 to 20 users. $
Integrated T1 Line - 128 kbps to 1.5 mbps connection - Dedicated line for 5 to 30 users plus voice lines. $
Full DS1 / T1 Connection - 1.5 mbps connection - Dedicated line for 20 to 50 users. A T1 connection can also be used for point to point access. $
Multiple T1 Lines - 1.5 to 6 mbps connection - Dedicated lines for 50+ users and/or high bandwidth applications. Multiple T1 lines can also be used for point to point access. $
DS3 / T3 Connection - 45 mbps connection - Dedicated line for 100+ users and/or high bandwidth applications. A DS3 / T3 connection can also be used for point to point access. $
OC3 Connection - 155 mbps connection - Fiber or dark fiber line for enterprise applications. An OC3 connection can also be used for point to point access. $
OC12 Connection - 620 mbps connection - Fiber or dark fiber line for enterprise applications. An OC12 connection can also be used for point to point access. $
VPN Solution - Managed hardware VPN solutions for secure private network connections and VPN server software for secure virtual private networks.
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