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Considering fiber for new Apartment WiFi build, help?

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#1 diocletianq3t


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Posted 15 March 2016 - 11:18 AM

Hello all!

I am in need of some advice! I'm the Systems Analyst for my company and yesterday I was saddled with the task of creating a new WiFi network for an apartment complex our company is building. Normally, this wouldn't be so hard, but they just threw me a curve ball saying they want to offer all residents WiFi, with an option of up to 10Mbps per user! Obviously we would be charging them a premium on their rent(Something to the tune of $29/mo) for this but they seem adamant about doing this.

Now some brief description on the project. It's a premium grade apartment complex, not even built yet, there will be 10 buildings plus 1 clubhouse. There will be 22, 24, or 34 units per building depending on whether it is a 3 or 4 floor one. We are looking at roughly 320 units. Here's my plan, the clubhouse will act as the 'CO', all equipment and cables will be terminated there. Ideally, I will have a home run from the CO to each building, also ideally, each building will have it's own 350/25 pipe to keep up with demand for each building, these will be supplied by a standard business cable service(Bright House). Each building will also house a 48-port PoE+ managed switch

The distance from the CO and the first building is 125ft, the distance between each building is an average of 40 feet, with the largest between 2 buildings being 150 feet. Finally, the farthest distance from the CO to the furthest building is just under 1100ft.

I assume that fiber is obviously the best bet for this because of the distance. The problem is I'm being told that a home run to each building may not be possible due to costs and amount of time needed to drop and run all the conduit needed. So, now I'm kind of scrambling to figure out a redundant solution that can offer the bandwidth needed but not involve connecting all the buildings in a big loop as it would be difficult to do with separate internet connections(Maybe VLANS) for each building.

Any ideas? I have attached an architectural plan to make it easier to visualize. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

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#2 Wand3r3r


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Posted 15 March 2016 - 06:01 PM

Someone dropped the ball on this one!

Every unit will need its own secured SSID/Wifi connection.

The clubhouse will need a WDS wifi network [wireless distributed network] which will require a number of WDS compatible routers.  This would be like a guest network [unsecured].  Most likely you will want to extend this into the pool/cabana area.

This would mean a wifi router per apartment each unit on a vlan to the switch.

These vlans would go over fiber to a master switch that also has the internet connection/firewall/QoS.

You will want redundant internet connections.


Design, equipment, and configuration are the easy parts.

Getting that much bandwidth from a local provider, doing the WDS survey for the correct amount of coverage and providing internet redundancy will be the more challenging aspect of the project.


You may wan to consider a captive portal for the guest wifi.

Edited by Wand3r3r, 15 March 2016 - 07:36 PM.

#3 Kilroy


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Posted 18 March 2016 - 02:02 PM

Wand3r3r makes a great point that each unit should have its own SSID.  If you only have one wireless network everyone on the wireless network can sniff the traffic of everyone else, MAJOR security issue.


You just need fiber between the buildings, you can run copper inside.  There are multiple reasons why you should run fiber outdoors and between the buildings, the main two being lighting and ground differences between buildings.


You're also want to run the fiber in a loop so that you don't have a single point of failure.

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