Re: Ethernet and intra-networking for cohousing communities
From: Howard Landman (
Date: Tue, 5 Jun 2001 11:45:02 -0600 (MDT)
> Are you
> all connected by Ethernet that you put in yourselves?  Or some other
> technology? Is the ISP subscription a business one, or simply a
> household one? And does the company know you are sharing it with many
> households?

River Rock has a Linux firewall/server in the common house with a DSL
connection to the outside world and two ethernet cards (one for the
south side subnet, one for the north).  There is cat5 to a hub in
each building's machine room.  Most units have one or two cat5 cables
built in (this was a $75/per option at construction time).  In my
own unit I also put in conduit for future expansion.

The net result is that everyone who wants it has net access for a
$75 one-time set-up fee plus about $5 per month.  Plus this pays for
our domain name, web server, and other community computer services.
We have the tools to make and test our own patch cables, so we can
make any length we need as we need them.

I think Greyrock has a similar setup, since we asked them for advice
frequently while designing our network.  One thing they advised was
to have surge protectors everywhere: lightning strikes are common in
Colorado and they lost a number of unprotected hubs to one a few
years back.  If you can't stand to pay $15 for a surge protector,
you can make your own from a cheap outlet strip and 3 zener diodes
(about $1 each at Radio Shack I think).  Soldering required ...

We somewhat underbought hubs - many of the original 5-port ones now
want to be 8-port.  We're solving this by selling some of the 5-port
hubs to individual units (our network architecture uses 2 levels of
hub for the main net, allowing for one level of hub within each unit)
to help pay for the larger 8-port hubs.  I bought one since I'm
already up to 5 computers in our unit and at least 3 of them need
net access.  (And that doesn't include the PlayStation 2, which will
probably want net access later in the year. :-)

If we had it to do over again, we might consider going wireless,
since the cost of that is going down and there are less pains
about expansion.

Anyway, we've got Windows & Macs & Linux all coexisting peacefully.
(We have half a class C net, i.e. 128 IP addresses total.)

        Howard A. Landman
        one of the LanLords at River Rock Commons, Fort Collins CO
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