Re: Datacomm infrastructure RESPONSES
From: Michael McIntyre (aragonumich.edu)
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 21:53:37 -0500
Here is a much belated summary of response to my post of 20 Feb.  More to
follow on AACoho's status.

Cheers,
        Michael
________________________________________________________________
Michael McIntyre                Ann Arbor Cohousing Community
313-998-7140                    www.ic.org/aacoho/
                                aacoho-info [at] umich.edu

Original:

> Ann Arbor cohousing is gearing up for construction and I'm
> interested in what others experiences have been and are regarding
> installing data communication infrastructure around the community
> buildings and homes.
> 
> Dedicated conduit?  What size?  How many lines per unit and what
> class cable?  Do you have your own LAN with hardwired Internet
> access?  If you are retrofitting some of this, what would you have
> done differently from the start of construction? What should we
> absolutely do now?

Responses and a few other bit:

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 17:04:16 +0500
From: Jerry Callen <jcallen [at] torrent.com>
To: aacoho-cis [at] umich.edu
Subject: Re: Datacomm infrastructure

My background: I'm a computer geek who recently renovated a house and
installed network and phone wiring to every room. 

Absolutely do now: put plenty of wire into the walls of the
individually units. You only have the walls open once (unless you are
REALLY unlucky...), so get everything you MIGHT ever want into them 
NOW.

You want "Category 5 Twisted Pair" (universally referred to as "cat
5") in a star configuration (known to electricians as "home runs")
between every room that might ever contain a computer and a central
wiring closet. Cat 5 cable contains 4 distinct pairs. Typical network
usage requires only 2 pairs; the remainder are for expansion and
backups (typically 5% of the installed pairs are bad). DO NOT use
those "unused" pairs for anything else (you'll be tempted to use them
for telephone lines); you will have bad pairs at some point and you'll
be reallyreally sorry if you don't have spares.

Telephone wiring is a bit more discretionary; personally, since wire
is cheap and ripping into walls is not, I'd simply install an
additional cat 5 cable to every room, again in a star configuration.
This gives you complete flexibility regarding what phone lines go to
which rooms.

Don't get talked into daisy chaining ANYTHING. The electrician may try
to tell you that you're crazy to do all those home runs. Do it anyway.

Cat 5 wire is cheap, less than $.20/foot. Unless you have huge units,
you'll probably use less than 1000' per unit (one small spool), so the
cost of the wire is maybe $200. You don't have to install jacks
everywhere initially; good jacks are pricey (do NOT get cheap
jacks...), and installing them is time consuming. Given the proper
tools (meaning, primarily, a "punch down tool", a screwdriver and a
good wire set of wire stripper/clippers), installation is easy, just
time consuming, so this is a good place to put in some sweat equity.

LABEL EVERYTHING!

The electrician you use should be familiar with installing data
cable. It's not all that critical, but you should try to cross AC
lines at a 45 degree angle, keep parallel AC lines at least a foot
from data cables, be CAREFUL with staples and other fasteners, and, if
possible, have the data and phone cables go in last, AFTER all the
plumbing and other electrical work is done (less chance the wires will
get dinged). Of course, everything else wants to be last, too, for the
same reason. :-)

You maybe given a choice between using "66 blocks" or "110 blocks" in
the wiring closet; 110 is more modern and easier to work with (given a
punch down tool), but electricians and phone installers tend to be
more familiar with 66 blocks. Go with the 110s.

You don't have to actually connect all the wires to the punch down
blocks right away (you can do it as you actually need the jacks), but
make SURE that everything is well labeled or you'll have a helluva
time later trying to sort out what goes where.

Have an AC outlet in the wiring closet, on its own circuit breaker. 10
amps is plenty. DON'T put anything else on that circuit; it's for your
network hub, your intercom system, and (if you're a fanatic) the file
server. 

Make sure there's room in the wiring closet for a small hub, the punch
down blocks, and YOU ('cuz at some point you'll have to rewire things,
and you don't want to have to stand on your head to do it). 

Did I mention that you should label everything?

I don't really know what to use between the units and common house,
but being a belt & suspenders kind of guy, I'd be inclined to put in a
separate conduit for datacom. Local code will likely require this
anyway.  By using conduit, you don't have to put all the wire in place
now, you can pull it later.

Have fun, and don't forget to label things.
++++
http://www.newview.org/network.htm

Network Wiring 

                            by Jim Salem

I specified a number of combined telephone and network connections on my
house plans.  About half of the telephone connections had matching network
connections included. I decided to use category 5 UTP for both telephone
and network wiring. A single category 5 wire allows up to 4 telephone
connections, two 10 Base T connections or a single 100 base T connection.
It addition it could always be used for intercom wiring, etc. 

All cables should be run from the junction box to the utility panel in the
basement. This is known as a "home run". This gives the most flexibility
and is appropriate for the star layout of 10-base-T networks.

I will be supplying and wiring the wall plates myself. Here are the
instructions I wrote for the wiring contractor.

                           Wiring Notes

Telephone and Network Wiring 

All phone and network wiring should be Category 5 unshielded twisted pair
(UTP) cables.  Each of these cables consists of 4 twisted pairs (8 wires
total).

Two such cables should be run from the basement to each junction box
marked telephone "+ Net". Each telephone-only junction box should have a
single such cable installed.

All telephone and telephone + Net junction boxes should have blank wall
plates installed. The cable ends should be left unattached inside the
junction box with approximately 4-6" available for later wiring.

The following guidelines should be followed when installing the cables: 

     All cable runs are "home runs" 
     Avoid kinks and tight turns with the cable. 
     Do not run cables through the same holes or parallel to power wiring
        (within 6"). 
     If you must cross over power wiring, cross at a perpendicular angle. 

Cable Television Wiring 

All cable television wiring should be RG-6. All runs should be home runs
to the utility panel in the basement. 

             General Information on Home Wiring 

I used the following sources to develop my house wiring specifications. 

     http://www.hometeam.com (home of Electronic House magazine and lots
of useful information) 
     http://www.cogentdata.com/white/fastw.html (In-depth discussion of
UTP wiring)
     http://www.mcdata.com/~meh0045/homewire/wire_guide.html 
     news:comp.home.automation 

You may find the following distributors helpful: 

     Allwire, Inc. in Denver (303-295-0106) 
     Home Automation Systems, Inc. (http://www.techmall.com/smarthome) 

++++

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 23:35:51 -0500
From: Dave McComb <mkumba [at] greyrock.org>
Subject: Re: Cohousing and the information age (fwd)

I don't remember the exact run lengths, but it is fairly restrictive.  We
have a fairly small campus and were able to just make it work within the
restrictions.  The two main restrictions are that no node can have more than
3 ( I think) hubs between itself and the server, and then there is the
specific hub to hub distance restrictions.  We have a guy in the community
who does this stuff for a living and worked out the details.  

One of the cooler aspects of our network topology was that we have 11
buildings (duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes) plus a common house.  We have
a hub in each building and when the buildings were built people had the
option of prewiring for the LAN.  It was an extra $25 per wall jack, so we
put one whereever we had a phone jack.

What this means is that you are on a subnet with the people in your building
and then the buildings are hierachically connected to form the community net
(still a LAN)

>> 4) Besides ISDN or T1 coming in / going out, is there anything else that 
>> can be considered?

There are a couple of others that will come up, and I'd recommend your
avoiding them:

The first is cable modems, there has been a lot of talk, and a few trials
attempting to get a network to run off the TV cables that are already in
the ground.  The cables have plenty of capacity, that isn't the problem. 
The problem is the cable companies have used up all the available channels
on that cable with simultaneous broadcast of 100 channels of video. 
Furthermore their switches are not really switches, they are broadcasters
that broadcast over cable instead of the airwaves and that is a lot of
capital equipment to get swapped out before any of this will work.  I've
spoken to the head of the local cabel franchise and to some people in the
know about some of these cabel modem trials, and they are a long way from
imminent rollout.  So I'm not holding my breath waiting for cable modems
to save us. 

The other one that will come up is the satellite down link with telephone
uplink.  This configuration is borne of the beleif that Internet use is
mostly downloading with little upload, so the upload and download channels
need not be symetrical. (This is a variation on the model that sees the
internet as an entertainment medium where we'll get our videos on the
download and be doing channel changing on the upload).  Firstly, I haven't
heard any credible success stories on this, and even if I had it runs
counter to some of my expectations of the use of the internet.  I think
that as the internet matures a bit more, and as we start to get more work
at home types here is our community, I think its very conceivable that we
will be uploading (to other people) as much traffic as we are downloading.

We ended up going with ISDN, mostly because the community wasn't ready to
bite off that next chunk.  As it turns out there isn't nearly as much cost
difference between the two, maybe there will be an upgrade in our future. 
Right now our main objective is to get enough people on the ISDN system to
recoup the costs we have already incurred and are incurring on an ongoing
rate, before we can look at an upgrade.  When the time comes the decision
will be pretty obvious. 

Two other things to consider:  in this part of Colorado getting an ISDN
line takes a long time.  They will promise you 30 days from the day you
order, and it will take on average 6 months, so get your order in early
and expedite it regularly. 

The other thing is ask around to see if there is a co-op in your broader
community, we have one here, where a number of business got together to
share a T1 connection, Greyrock is tied into the that coop, and one of the
nice things is there is much less competition for the bandwidth during the
evening when we use it the most.   
---------------------
Dave McComb
Community Member At Large
Greyrock Commons, Fort Collins, CO

++++


Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 11:38:15 -0500
From: Scott Cowley <scowley [at] alexandria.lib.utah.edu>
Subject: Re: COHOUSING-L digest 130

Paul,
Here is what I (think I) know about a datacom system for a cohousing community:

- Put in ducts during construction to avoid dirt disruption later.
  Also, thread a 1/4" polypropylene twine through it as the sections of PVC 
duct 
  are being glued together.
- Use a LAN "star" layout emanating from the common house mechanical room.
- You can start with "category 5" twisted pair copper wire which promises to
support fairly high data rates for a while, with lower-priced transceivers at 
the ends.  Or you could put in fiber optic mains and go to copper at the homes,
or you could go fiber optic all the way to the P.C.s at the desk!
-  In the case of fiber optic, The more fibers the better.
- a 64-fiber optic cable is about 1.25 inches in diameter.  A 36-fiber cable is 
about .75 inch in diamter.  Two wires (for a home) total about .25 inch in 
diameter.
- Optical fiber cable requires a bending radius, on turns, of 15 times the 
diameter.
- "Multi-mode" optical fiber is o.k. for 300 yard runs.  It is cheap (84 
cents/ft) and can also be directly buried (not advisable).  "Single Mode" is
better, but more expensive.
- A new "Gigabit" Ethernet standard is out which will require optical fiber.
  Only one hub (switch)  can be put in such a run.
  Also pretty intriguing is the ATM protocol.  See "Telecommunications", 
  March 1997, pg. 31, for a discussion of both.
- Optical fiber signals can be changed to "10BaseT" (twisted pair), category 5
wire signals with transceivers (modems).  These cost about $275 per end, but 
are 
falling in price.
- Optical fiber is not hard to install.  It can be pulled with a piece of 1/4"
polypropylene twine, or actually blown in with compressed air.  Testing it is
also pretty easy.
  To splice it, however, requires special equipment, but is easily do-able.
- THE local TV Cable company is claiming to be able to provide digital internet
service by the end of this year.
- Also on the horizon (2000) is digital communication via satellites.  Gates 
and 
a cable guy have ganged up to monopolize this, too (-opinion).
- Optical fiber has the capacity to support video links, as well as an audio 
link, and a data link using existing special modems.   However, all this 
requires more money at the ends.
- I don't know much about multi-platform o.s.s, but I know that even the older
(used) versions of Novell  (2.15, 3.1) supported apples.  Also check out
Novell Lite and Lantastic.
- Here's a couple of good URLs, one for cable, one for a modem company:
    http://www.occfiber.com/bselect.html
    http://www.pacificnet.net/fiberoptics/
-the newsgroup, "science.optics.fiber" seems to be a pretty good resource.
- A server doesn't require a lot of cpu speed.  You could probably put together
one for under $800.  Then just add disk space and better ethernet cards or 
modems.

++++


Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 11:38:15 -0500
From: Scott Cowley <scowley [at] alexandria.lib.utah.edu>
Subject: Re: COHOUSING-L digest 130

Paul,
Here is what I (think I) know about a datacom system for a cohousing community:

- Put in ducts during construction to avoid dirt disruption later.
  Also, thread a 1/4" polypropylene twine through it as the sections of PVC 
duct 
  are being glued together.
- Use a LAN "star" layout emanating from the common house mechanical room.
- You can start with "category 5" twisted pair copper wire which promises to
support fairly high data rates for a while, with lower-priced transceivers at 
the ends.  Or you could put in fiber optic mains and go to copper at the homes,
or you could go fiber optic all the way to the P.C.s at the desk!
-  In the case of fiber optic, The more fibers the better.
- a 64-fiber optic cable is about 1.25 inches in diameter.  A 36-fiber cable is 
about .75 inch in diamter.  Two wires (for a home) total about .25 inch in 
diameter.
- Optical fiber cable requires a bending radius, on turns, of 15 times the 
diameter.
- "Multi-mode" optical fiber is o.k. for 300 yard runs.  It is cheap (84 
cents/ft) and can also be directly buried (not advisable).  "Single Mode" is
better, but more expensive.
- A new "Gigabit" Ethernet standard is out which will require optical fiber.
  Only one hub (switch)  can be put in such a run.
  Also pretty intriguing is the ATM protocol.  See "Telecommunications", 
  March 1997, pg. 31, for a discussion of both.
- Optical fiber signals can be changed to "10BaseT" (twisted pair), category 5
wire signals with transceivers (modems).  These cost about $275 per end, but 
are 
falling in price.
- Optical fiber is not hard to install.  It can be pulled with a piece of 1/4"
polypropylene twine, or actually blown in with compressed air.  Testing it is
also pretty easy.
  To splice it, however, requires special equipment, but is easily do-able.
- THE local TV Cable company is claiming to be able to provide digital internet
service by the end of this year.
- Also on the horizon (2000) is digital communication via satellites.  Gates 
and 
a cable guy have ganged up to monopolize this, too (-opinion).
- Optical fiber has the capacity to support video links, as well as an audio 
link, and a data link using existing special modems.   However, all this 
requires more money at the ends.
- I don't know much about multi-platform o.s.s, but I know that even the older
(used) versions of Novell  (2.15, 3.1) supported apples.  Also check out
Novell Lite and Lantastic.
- Here's a couple of good URLs, one for cable, one for a modem company:
    http://www.occfiber.com/bselect.html
    http://www.pacificnet.net/fiberoptics/
-the newsgroup, "science.optics.fiber" seems to be a pretty good resource.
- A server doesn't require a lot of cpu speed.  You could probably put together
one for under $800.  Then just add disk space and better ethernet cards or 
modems.

++++

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 14:29:38 -0800
From: Dave Buchanan <dbuchanan [at] extremenetworks.com>
To: "'aragon [at] umich.edu'" <aragon [at] umich.edu>
Subject: RE: Datacomm infrastructure

As one in midst of computer networking, I urge you to install "Cat Five"
UTP (that's Category 5 Unshielded Twisted Pair) line to each residence,
no more than 90 meters or so per run.  These could be "home run" to the
Common House, where you could presumeably put a hub or switch with
a hig-bandwidth connection to the internet.  The Cat 5 allows each
family
to install a 10/100 NIC (Network Interface Card) in their PC.  Such NICs
are now $99 for name brand (3Com or Intel).  Once this is done, your
wiring and systems are set up to go either 10 Mbits/sec (traditional
10BaseT
Ethernet) or 100 Mbits/sec (Fast Ethernet).  You can initially buy an 
inexpensive 10BaseT hub for the Common House and upgrade later for
ten times the speed within the community (and not have to touch the
wiring
or everyone's systems in their homes).  When you plug in the faster
switch or hub someday, the home systems will all autosense the higher
speed and automagically switch to the 100 Mbits/sec speed.

If possible, I would run the wire in conduit with a pull-string
alongside it.

++++


From:   INTERNET:BlairDrums [at] aol.com, INTERNET:BlairDrums [at] aol.com
DATE:   1/11/97 11:42 AM

RE:     Re: Need help on phone/LAN cable spec

To "futureproof" your community (from a tech perspective) I recommend 
that each telephone wall plate, TV jack and doorbell should receive a 
separate feed of Cat 5 cable, run (in hub and spoke fashion) from a 
central distribution point.

Depending on the TV habit/policy of the group, you may also benefit from 
upgrading your video wiring.

TV/cable jacks in most homes use a single RG-59 coaxial cable. RG-6
coaxial cable, however, is better at delivering digitally compressed video
(for example, from DSS -- small sattellite dishes). If you do two runs to
each room you'll also open up the possiblity of distributing video around
the house -- baby monitors, child play areas, watching the video feed in
more than one room. 

The classic question, of course: "Does being wired help build community?"

If the community answers yes, you might consider a Macintosh server 
instead of Windows NT -- much faster to set-up, easier to maintain, 
compatible with Windows machines, and plenty powerful. I'm sending more 
details on the NT/Mac server comparison directly to Rich.

Good luck,

Blair Hornbuckle
Cohousing of the Genesee Valley
Rochester, NY

++++


Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 16:49:22 -0700
From: Dave McComb <mkumba [at] fpi.com>
To: aragon [at] umich.edu, aacoho-cis [at] umich.edu
Subject: [Fwd: Datacomm infrastructure]

Michael,

First, planning this kind of network is pretty tricky, due to limitations on
length of cable, and number of hops through routers that you can make,  The
geometry of our complex was such that we have a subnet in each building
(they are all duplex, triplex and fourplexes) and a hierarchical
interconnection between the 12 buildings.  (We have yet to go live with this
but they tell me it will all work)

While we were under construction, we buried PVC conduit with CAT 5 cable in
it, with long lengths hanging out the ends.  The idea being that when the
buildings were complete we could wire the 30 or 40 ft without splicing.  We
even managed to get the phone company to leave their trench open for a few
extra hours for us to get our stuff in the ground.  So we had essentially no
trenching cost.    
We were pretty proud of ourselves and let a local paper do a story on us.
Within 2 days some vandals had clipped all the exposed wire.  We left the
PVC in the ground and when construction was nearly done pulled new cable
through.

We have just (within the last couple of days) gotten our ISDN connection,
after six months wait!!  so sometime this week we should finally be end to
end.  It is a dedicated full time 128K connection through a local internet
co-op, so we'll be up all the time.


Dave McComb

Feel free to ask any other questions, I may or may not know the answers, but
I can usually get back pretty quickly.

++++

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 21:33:46 -0700
From: Wilhelmus Schreurs <willie [at] webaccess.net>
To: aacoho-cis [at] umich.edu
Subject: Re: Datacomm infrastructure

        I've forwarded your message to someone who was closer to the technical
details of our LAN at Greyrock, but I'll have a shot at the few things I
know.  We put conduit and cable in the ground early, using the same
trench (I believe) as the phone wiring.  If you can negotiate this, I
think it's a good idea -- cheap to do and can save a lot of retrofit
hassle later.  Each building (duplex thru fourplex, and the common
house) has a hub.  Each family or individual made their own decision
about how many outlets to have and where to locate them.  We will very
soon have our own LAN; it's been slowly coming together -- the server's
been bought, we have our own domain name reserved (greyrock.org), and we
even have an ISDN line now (*that* took a while!).  No T1 line (cost was
too high for now).
-- 
    /\                     Willie Schreurs                      /\
   //\\                <willie [at] WebAccess.net> or               //\\
  ///\\\  <willie [at] FortNet.org> or <WSchreurs [at] compuserve.com>  ///\\\  
 ////\\\\          Greyrock Commons, Fort Collins, CO        ////\\\\

++++


Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 08:45:32 -0400
From: Jim_Snyder-Grant/CAM/Lotus [at] lotus.com
To: aragon [at] umich.edu
Subject: Wiring

At New View (Acton MA), we learned relatively late in the game that none of
the utilities would allow us to piggyback our cables into their conduits.
So, the key thing for us was to spend a few thousand getting conduit from
each house to the common house site, sharing conduit where reasonable. We
haven't put the wiring in yet, and the distances involved present some
challenge. A few of the households put in category 5 wiring in place of the
internal phone wiring, so that they could do internal networking, but it is
unclear if it would be OK to stretch Cat-5 wiring all the way for the most
distant house to the common house without expensive repeaters. SO maybe we
will end up with fibre, which is cheap per linear foot, but expensive to
terminate.. We will need to finish the common house, and catch our
financial breath before we take more steps. But the conduits (parts &
l;abor) were only about 4000, so we did get to do that.

Jim_Snyder-Grant [at] NewView.org

++++


Date: Fri, 21 Feb 1997 10:34:24 -0600 (CST)
From: Tom Nelson Scott <veda [at] csd.uwm.edu>
To: aacoho-cis [at] umich.edu
Subject: Re: Datacomm infrastructure

The issue of telecom infrastructure in coho/ecovillage developments is
dear to me. Check out my web page, point number four. I established a
telecom company in Iowa that is carrying high-cap T1/DS1 lines to
commercial customers on fiber. That's the medium I'd suggest. But you
also have to deal the present: Because of the high expense of
electronics to get the signals in/out of the fiber, you will have to
do some of your current infrastructure in metallic media (coax,
twisted pairs of copper, etc.).

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Nelson Scott                  Phone/Fax: 1-414-966-2902
[company name]                    Business email: tom.scott [at] veda-home.com
W330 N8357 West Shore Drive       Academic email: veda [at] csd.uwm.edu
Hartland WI 53029-9732            Academic web: http://www.uwm.edu/~veda
                     "Do less, accomplish more."                       
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

++++


Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 09:48:26 -0700
From: Hans Ehrbar <ehrbar [at] keynes.econ.utah.edu>
To: aacoho-cis [at] umich.edu
Subject: Datacomm infrastructure

Hello Ann Arbor cohousers:

after your initial inquiry regarding datacomm infrastructure on
cohousing-list we haven't heard from you again on that list.  We at
Wasatch Cohousing in Salt Lake City are also planning the same thing.
How far along are you with your plans?

Here is something from one of our members which may be of interest to
you too:

From: "Scott Cowley" <scowley [at] alexandria.lib.utah.edu>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 09:15:32 MDT
Subject: High Speeds

We seem to be on the right track for the future with optical fiber.
Here is an abstract  from an article in "Telecommuncations" mag. for
3/97:

Gigabit Ethernet: 1000 Mb/s !!!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
- Now has an 80-member committee, with equipment to come out in 1997.
- PCI is the bus of choice.  It is 32-bit PCI runs at 1.057 Mbp, 64-bit PCI at
double that. (PCI is an internal arrangement in your computer.)
- Optical Fiber is the only "long" wire which supports gigabit speeds.
- 4-pair Cat 5 copper wire is expected to be supported when running at 
1.25 Mb/s for under 100 meters.
-"Multimode" optical fiber cable can go 300 meters, max.  It is the cheapest.
- Coaxial cable will be useful over 25 meters.
- Gigabit repeaters will be limited to one repeater per segment, unlike the
present two.
- One Gigabit hub could supply ten 100-Mb/s drops.

Gigabit Ethernet vs. ATM:
"ATM" is another  technology which is rated to 2.5 Gb/s as of this year. 
It started in the banking industry.  It has the advantage of having a protocol
which can guarantee timing of data.  As a result, it can transfer video and
audio signals digitally, as well as non-timing-critical data such as computer 
stuff.
The problem with ATM is that it is expensive right now: $700/port, $8995 for
an 8-port hub.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The internet speed market is going to be very aggressive.  We can look for 
prices to fall radically in the near future.
    Therefore we can probably do just fine with the layout Chris has suggested,
well into the future.  We might also think of just putting in regular cable 
hookups
until the cost of something like ATM drops enough, and then using it to get 
video
and audio links.  That might be around 3-5 years.

-- 
Hans G. Ehrbar                                    ehrbar [at] econ.utah.edu
Wasatch Cohousing, Salt Lake City

++++

Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 14:21:14 -0500
From: Erich Boleyn <erich [at] uruk.org>
Subject: Cohousing and the information age...


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"

++++

Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 14:16:01 -0800
From: Rich Lobdill <richardl [at] silcom.com>
To: aragon [at] umich.edu
Subject: Re: Datacomm infrastructure

Michael:

I put forth a similar question a month or two ago. Below I will paste my
first e-mail and then some of the most helpful responses:

Greetings from Oceano, CA
>
>I'm working up a proposal to the group which proposes that we wire the
>houses such that each house can connect their computer (if they own one) to
>an NT server in the common house which will then have a hardwire (non-modem)
>connection to the internet. I would envison that we might also have one or
>more community computers available for those who would like to use a
>computer but don't have (or want) one in their home.
>
>Bypassing for now the philosophical arguements about society and technology,
>I am looking for help locating some info I thought was in the Coho-L
>archives but I can't now find.
>
>Specifically, I belive there is a type of standard home phone cabling which
>is built to carry both phone lines and LAN lines (I think it would be
>twisted pair for 10BaseT connections). It would make it very simple to spec
>this cable for the homes instead of standard three line phone cable.
>
>Does this jog anyone's memory?


Responses:

_______________________________________________________________

Probably Category 5 UTP (unshielded twisted pair) is what you are looking
for.  Category 5 wiring will carry 10baseT and 100BaseT signals.  Note that
the actually order of the wires is different between phone and 10BaseT so
you'll have to specify this to the installer (phone uses 1 pair of wires,
10BaseT uses 2 pairs).  

Hope this helps!  Let me know if I can help.

Sunia

----------------------------------------------------------------
Sunia Yang                              Networking Systems
Network Specialist                      Stanford University
sunia [at] networking.stanford.edu              115 Pine Hall  MS4122
(415)723-3543                           Stanford CA 94305

_____________________________________________________________

You want Category 5 twisted pair. This has 4 pairs in a sheath. The
official spec sez you can't intermingle telephone use and data in the
same Cat 5 cable, but (at least at 10Mbps) it works. By all means USE
THIS CABLE instead of the standard "Cat 3" cable. The cost difference
for the cable itself is minimal; what's expensive is the labor of
running ANY cable at all.

But use a Linux server. It's the same cheap hardware, but you'll have
more flexibility and spend a lot less on software. It will work with
anything (other Linux boxes, NT or W95, or Macs). The NT server is
much less friendly to other protocols (though it's getting better).

Linux also lets you use "IP masquerading" to enable a single TCP/IP
address to be multiplexed. Depending on the nature of your connection
to the internet, this could be a crucial feature.

-- Jerry Callen
   jcallen [at] world.std.com


_______________________________________________________________

As someone working in Silicon Valley and on the edge of networking
technology, I would suggest pulling Cat 5 UTP to each house.  Make sure
that all runs stay under 100 meters.  This will allow you to easily move
to 100 Mbit networking, which people will want within the next several
years. 

Each computer should be equipped with a NIC (Network Interface Card)  that
does 10/100 autosensing Ethernet.  These are less than $50 more expensive
than the simple 10 Mbit cards, and they work with 10 Mbit stuff today --
you just upgrade your central hub or switch later to 100 Mbit connections
and you don't have to touch any of the systems.  They all will just
auto-sense that 100 Mbit is there now and shift gears.  Sounds good? 
That's why most large corporations have standardized on this. 

Put your cabling into conduit and put a pull-string in with the wire for
pulling whatever else through in the future ... 

D.B.

I have yet to move on spec'ing the design with our electrical engineering
people, but some of our newest members really liked the idea. The catch
phrase I came up with for use by the marketing comittee is "Telecomuter
Ready" housing.

Good Luck
Rich Lobdill






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