Re: Latest on Community-wide data systems
From: Matt Lawrence (
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2005 09:17:41 -0800 (PST)
On Wed, 16 Mar 2005, Joel Plotkin wrote:

Hundredfold Farm in Cashtown PA is a rural cohousing project with 14 planned homes. We'd like to find a way to get our data and TV without being reliant on the big communication companies. Does anyone have experience with community- owned satellite access? We have heard one opinion that direct satellite links are undesirable for Internet access because they do not come with adequate firewalls (but this is from someone who subcontracts with the Pentagon). What about the big dishes that were popular fifteen years ago for TV? They required decoders, but not monthly maintenance fees. We hope to WiFi our system, since we're all located close together.

No Internet connection is going to be particularly secure. Firewalls and intrusion detection systems on your end are a _really_ good idea. The biggest problem with satellite connections is the latency, it takes a long time for a signal to travel to geosynchronus orbit and back. I suggest that you look into the various land line possibilities, particularly SDSL, and microwave links.

I can't tell you much about TV, I haven't turned mine on in four months. You may be able to get some sort of site subscription for the whole place from one of the satellite companies.

As far as wiring or not, wireless is slow and the more people on it, the slower it is. You may want to consider running cat5e or cat6 between the locations that need high speed access. It wil be much less of an issue if you don't run any servers.

-- Matt
Nothing great was ever accomplished without _passion_

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