Re: Site wide internet?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 13:16:35 -0800 (PST)
> On Jan 23, 2017, at 5:30 PM, Will Carter <will.carter [at]> 
> wrote:
> There is a long standing committee here to implement some sort of shared
> community internet I wondered if anyone might have suggestions. I have just
> joined the committee here and am researching possibilities.
> The idea here is to have a large capacity connection to our common house,
> then feed each unit from there.

We have two business level modems in the CH that serve the whole community. 
Business service gets us faster service when it goes down. We do have all the 
units wired with internet cables (forget what Cat5?) and an intranet. A few 
years ago we got service from two companies — one modem from each — so when one 
service goes down everything rolls over to the other. The speed is just reduced.

But increasingly people want wireless. We now have about 4 wireless “things” 
throughout the community so everyone can reach them. And those of us who have 
our own allow others to use them. We have a standard password that most of them 

We just had a new reserve study done and they said don’t do wires to units 
again if they fail or begin to fail. Everything is going to wireless.

Though there were some rough years until we got all the routers and IP 
addresses worked out, it works very well with 70+ people using it. That 
includes video streaming, teens playing games, and adults working at home. If 
the speed were to slow down we would get a third modem. We have faster speeds 
that we could afford individually and it is much cheaper than if we all had our 
own service.

I don’t have all the figures in my head but it’s about half as expensive with 
better service and faster speeds for everyone. I once had a package of cable 
and internet from RCN. Cable was cheaper if you also had internet. I never used 
their modem because our building was much better.

I would advise all communities to go in this direction, though I don’t know how 
well it would work with the distances in lot development models.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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