Cohousing and the information age...
From: Erich Boleyn (erichuruk.org)
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 14:22:36 -0500
In the Trillium Hollow Cohousing Group some of us are seriously
looking into networking up all our units (the building with all
our units will soon start construction).

We're curious if others have done/are doing similar things, and
both how they've gone about it and how the communities as a
whole responded to it.

[Geek mode on, for those interested in the technical part]

Our current plan is as follows:
  --  Place twisted-pair ethernet hub(s) in telephone wiring room.
  --  For twisted-pair ethernet connection between the hub in the
        telephone room and the units, depending on which is available,
        use either of:  (a) 2 of the available phone pairs in the wall
        (which is sufficient for ethernet), or (b) cabling pulled
        through conduit.
  --  Each unit which is to be connected must get a twisted-pair ethernet
        connector/adapter for their computer.
  --  Get a centralized 24-hour (continuous) Internet connection
        and connect it to the network.  This would be either 56K
        or possibly 128K/256K fractional T1.  I.e. the same
        kind of connection as used by a small- to mid-sized company.

[Geek mode off]

So, this is a shared full-time Internet connection for the whole
community, plus having everybody's computers be networked together.

Benefits include:
  --  Connectivity without using a phone line.  This is both simpler,
        as it's always "just there" with no dialing necessary, and
        less intrusive, as it doesn't tie up a phone line.
  --  24-hour availability (for those of us who care ;-).
  --  Easy to share information around the community (we have ideas
        for things like an electronic bulletin board, internal use
        of e-mail eases leaving messages for people).
  --  Similar or cheaper pricing compared to most Internet access
        deals from online services, and much faster service (on
        average).
  --  Much simpler setup for end-users who aren't into computers
        (electronic community info is web pages, and Internet
        browsing is just starting up the browser at any time).

Our pricing strategy is based on the notion that there are a few
units (currently 2-3 at Trillium Hollow) who will both use more
of the available resources and use it to support job-related
activities like telecommuting.  These people will pay a large
percentage of the operating costs, and then others will pay fees
similar to current online providers (probably between $10 and
$20 a month).

Comments?

--
  Erich Stefan Boleyn                 \_ E-mail (preferred):  <erich [at] 
uruk.org>
Mad Genius wanna-be, CyberMuffin        \__      (finger me for other stats)
Web:  http://www.uruk.org/~erich/     Motto: "I'll live forever or die trying"

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