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What would it take to network my building?

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June 11, 2002 4:09:04 PM

Ok this is a very broad question. I live in a 21 story building that is currently being wired for digital cable. With this I will (finally) be able to get digital cable and internet. But I was thinking rather than have each person signup and pay for access, couldn't we set up the whole building? Don't worry, I am not talking about ripping off TWC by having everyone share a connection ;)  I mean legitamately set up a connection into a server in the basement, or would a dish on the roof be better?. Then people could access the server via the building's cable, similiar to my and most or your's, network at work, but with a cable modem I assume. I know it would take some serious bandwith to support potentially up to 300 apartments, but keep in mind the cost would also be spread out over 300 apartments.

Sorry if I am babbling, my network experience is limited to a few small LANs, nothing like this. I realize I am way outa my league here and we would probably hire an IT firm to implement this. I just want to be able to speak intelligently on the topic. Thanks for any help!

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A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
-Anonymous Veteran

More about : network building

June 12, 2002 5:47:53 AM

how is this not taking money away from the cable company? there is no way they are going to put a fat pipe in the basement on a server and share the connection that way, then they would have to support the server. its far easyer to put a large switch in the building (or block) and run the coax to each appartment.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
June 12, 2002 6:01:52 AM

I don't know about where you live but where I live thats illegal, and is seriously going to get you in trouble with the cable company, because you're not going to be able to keep it a secret from them, you'll be burning up cable modems on a regular basis, unless you're going for the higher level equipment to start with which is a heck of a lot more expensive than you think. Your thoughts are also dependant on a 300 number that would mean that every tenant would have to participate, you'd be lucky to get a fourth of them to participate in the program, more likely a fifth or even less, you'd be much better off to just get the service for yourself and enjoy the heck out of it, there'd be a lot less equipment costs, hassles, and downtime.
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June 12, 2002 2:08:12 PM

no no no, you guys don't get what I am saying, sorry I didn't explain it well. I am NOT trying to hide it from the cable company or anybody. Whoever would be sending in the pipe would know it was for the entire building.

How does my company set up a network for 10,000 employees, all connected to the internet? Are they ripping someone of? Of course not, they must have a contract with someone. They own all the hardware inside, but they must be connected to a backbone somewhere, and that's what I'm talking about.

edit: Also, many new buildings where I live are built already wired for the internet. They have data ports in the wall and all you need to do is plug in via your NIC. Its not illegal, the building pays for the service. My building doesn't have that, but what I'm asking is could we set it up, and connect via a pc NIC to cable modem to wall cable, which is then connected to a network with broadband internet access.

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A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
-Anonymous Veteran <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by endless_n00b on 06/12/02 10:52 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 12, 2002 11:51:40 PM

the cable company is not going to set something like that up. to do it you would have to set up some sort of wan connection (from the phone company) get a big @$$ router, bunch of switches, run cat 5 to every room in the appartment in lengths no longer than 100 meters. if some appartments are too far you will have to put an idf in the higher floors and run fiber to the mdf. your already talking about thousands and thousands of dollars. even then you would have no cable tv. isp's like your cable company are not in the business of serving a back bone connection to any one. the kind of connection your work has is leased from the phone company, they pay a monthly fee.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
June 13, 2002 7:09:45 AM

why would the phone company have to get involved?

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
June 13, 2002 1:22:04 PM

OK now we are getting somewhere. I actually suspected it wouldn't be the cable company that would set it up, but I wasn't sure who would.

>>get a big @$$ router, bunch of switches<<
yup I figured that,

>>run cat 5 to every room in the appartment<<

Ok this part is one of my main questions, we are already laying down digital cable lines to every apartment, can this serve as network cable? This is the part that costs a fortune and we've already paid for it. $350k to be exact, although most of that was actually for new wallpaper and carpeting, the digital cable is kind of a bonus. So trust me, 10 grand in switches is no biggie.

But its all moot if the cable we are laying down can't serve as the connection, and that's my main question.



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A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
-Anonymous Veteran
June 13, 2002 1:36:43 PM

I may not understand completely, or I may...., but it seems to me: That if your area supports cable internet, (RoadRunner etc.) and you have each apartment in your building wired for cable, then the only thing that would need to be done is for whoever wants internet access to be issued/rented a cable modem/ip by the cable company and you're on-line. Don't know if the cable co would have to install heavy duty repeaters or signal boosters or something in the buiding...
How about simply asking the cable company, a manager or higher-up of course, about the prospect of each of the tenants being able to have cable internet access if they choose to. Doesn't seem a problem to me. But then I don't work for the cable co either :-)
m
June 13, 2002 1:49:47 PM

But wait, after rereading you original message, I see that you want all apartments to have internet access. Period.

Well, the cable company knows what they can and will do depending on how much cash you throw at them, so my original advice, ask the cable company, still applies.
Let us know what the outcome is.
m
June 13, 2002 1:58:56 PM

you have to connect to a backbone somewhere, you cant just get a bunch of fiber and plug in in at the street corner. they have to plug it in to their switch at the co. you could pay for the fiber yourself but you still need to pay for the wan connection, yearly or monthly.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
June 13, 2002 2:03:52 PM

is the cable company wiring the entire building already? if so then every one has access right there, they just have to pay the cable company. you cant use their cable to run your own lan, they will not allow it. if you were going to pursue the internet part yourself you will have to get at least a ds3 connection to the building. a t3 isnt going to serve 300 people running ftp servers and leaving file sharing programs on. that is expensive.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
June 13, 2002 2:07:57 PM

oh, I was under the impression that he wanted the cable company to be his ISP (which I thought they could do).

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
June 13, 2002 2:30:02 PM

REALITY CHECK HERE: Obviously you really don't understand how the networking actually works, each computer will only be allowed a certain amount of access time to the network to accomplish its goals, you'll be better off going with a dial up system you'll get twice the download capability than you'll end up with with 300 networked computers, seeking server rights. There is a big difference between true networking and just splitting up a cable connection.
June 13, 2002 2:44:20 PM

i dont know of any cable company that serves buisness class wan connections.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
June 13, 2002 3:16:22 PM

Yeah, thats what I was unsure of, although I don't know why they don't

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
June 13, 2002 3:38:18 PM

jihiggs
>>you have to connect to a backbone somewhere, you cant just get a bunch of fiber and plug in in at the street corner. they have to plug it in to their switch at the co. you could pay for the fiber yourself but you still need to pay for the wan connection, yearly or monthly.<<
I know that, that's one thing I'm asking. Who would provide that service? Phone company you said before right?

>>you cant use their cable to run your own lan, they will not allow it.<<
They don't own it we do, we are paying for everything.

4ryan6
>>than you'll end up with with 300 networked computers, seeking server rights<<
Couldn't you have clusters rather than all 300 on 1 server? They just all need to connect to a backbone that needs to be big enough to handle us all. Being that I live in NYC with about 2 million other internet users, I would think there's a pretty damn big backbone somewhere we could pay a monthly/yearly fee to connect to. There has to be a way, other buildings and obviously companies have it.


But I am hoping someone can answer this one nagging question that is the key to all this. Can a digital cable wire serve as network cable?


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A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
-Anonymous Veteran
June 13, 2002 3:41:02 PM

by digital cable wire, you mean 75 ohm coax?

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
June 13, 2002 3:47:06 PM

answer to your nagging question, no.
digital cable uses coax, no one makes network equipment to run on coax any more. coax was used in a network topology called "bus" or "ring" it sucked a lot. the way they run the cable is not the same. even if you could find some equipment that would use the wires, you could not use the same wire to run a network and cable tv.

how do you shoot the devil in the back? what happens if you miss? -verbal
June 13, 2002 4:08:26 PM

well there you have it, won't work :( 

Thanks for all your replies, though.

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A newbie is only a newbie for as long as you allow him to be.
-Anonymous Veteran
June 13, 2002 7:46:07 PM

just to expand, the type of coax isn't even compatible with old style 10Base2. The cable TV is 75Ohm and 10Base2 is 50Ohm. Regardless, as jhiggs said, it's too disjoint to even think about. Now, getting your building wired with CAT5 at the same time as they're pulling the coax (as long as they're pulling one wire, they might as well pull 2) might be something to think about. You may need to subcontract a different vendor to do all the cable pulling, as I'm not sure the cable company would want to get involved.

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
June 15, 2002 8:50:23 AM

Quote:
i dont know of any cable company that serves buisness class wan connections.


Pretty sure cox does, as they offer all sorts of business solutions.

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March 27, 2003 2:55:35 PM

Let me see if I got this right:

You want to use pre-existing (for all intense and purposes it is pre-existing) cable infrastructure as a backbone for a network in a single building in order to provide internet connectivity (via a centrally located point-of-presence - aka: the server in the basement) to approximately 300 users allowing for file and print-sharing capabilities and the whole gambit of normal ip-related services (email, chat, etc).

And it seems the all encompassing question is WILL IT WORK?
The answer is: Theoretically - MAYBE.

Here's the skinny:

You will need to determine how much bandwidth you want (total for the building, and total for each apartment-node). You will at some point need to have all the 'lines' coming into a switch that will equally delve out the total available bandwidth (these are pretty easily had on the market...try CISCO or the like). The switches will interface with your main router for the building (which will be where you signal comes in from whatever provider you decide to use) via normal network-type media - either fiber or cat-5....probably the latter.

But I believe you will first have to breach the question of getting the signal from the digital cable ('lines') to the switch(s). I don't know of any switches that are read-made for this type of interface, but you may be able to find a media-converter that will provide this capability. You will need a media converter at both ends of the connection (meaning at the switch-side of the interface and also at the apartment-side of the interface). This will give you a viable 'path' to make the network happen.

Another problem you will probably have to overcome is signal strength. The farther you get (physically - meaning cable feet) from the router, the weaker your signal will get. That should be easily fixed by some sort of repeater or the like. Of course, these will require the afformentioned media converters.

Ok, so you have your path. Your repeaters are in place giving you stable signal strength throughout the network. I can only see one other problem you might have:

Your digital cable signal will run at certain frequencies.
Your network signal will run at certain frequencies.
These signals can not be the same.

You will need some sort of converter that will let you 'piggy-back' your network signal on your digital cable (media). It will work basically the same way as these 'home-networking' setups work that allow you to use your electical wiring as a viable network solution. They're basically running at different frequencies.

So let's recap..

From the node-side (apartment connection) you will need to connect from your client (the computer) to some type of converter that will change your signal frequency. This will connect to a media converter and then to the media (digital cable connection).

At the switch-side (down in the basement) you will basically reverse this setup: digital cable interfaced with a media converter, through your frequency converter to the switch.

And there you have the basic setup you will need to network you 20-story apartment building using your pre-existing digital cable as a network backbone.

I would suggest you set up a small version of this solution and test it EXTENSIVELY *BEFORE* you implement it on a wide scale. You may run into problems with the networking equipment interfering with the cable signal (or vice versa) at which point you'd have to either iron that out or come up with a different solution.

Will it work in the real world? Who knows? Make sure you use quality equipment.
Will it be expensive? Probably.
Good luck finding the frequency converters and media converters you will need to make this happen.

Seriously, I wish you good luck. Keep us updated.

Oh, BTW, I do not - IN ANY WAY YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO DREAM UP IN A MILLION YEARS - take responsibility for ANY complications (equipment failures, legal issues, monetary costs, etc etc, and so forth and so on) that may arrise in your endeavor to implement this networking solution.

Clymer

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
March 27, 2003 4:18:58 PM

timely...

<i>It's always the one thing you never suspected.</i>
March 27, 2003 6:12:40 PM

Ok Ok, so I didn't look at the DATE on this post before I answered it...bad on me...but still, it's good info.

Guess I'll never know if it works or not.

Clymer

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.
March 28, 2003 4:56:56 AM

lol, i started reading and thought it sounded familiar.

my computer is so fast, it completes an endless loop in less than 4 seconds!
March 29, 2003 4:43:46 AM

Maybe it's cause im seriously high off my ass right now, but i don't understand what you wanna do?

do you own an apartment building? and are you trying to "better" the people that live there...

basically, i don't understand what you are trying to do.. If you have 200-300 people in your apartment, and they want cable modem service, let them call up the cable company and tell them to come down and set up there LINE with a cable connection... i say let the people worry about it themselfs.

RIG
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March 30, 2003 4:43:30 AM

lol, 9 months later, for all we know the original poster is dead...

peace,
-=<font color=blue>i3lue}{orneT</font color=blue>=-
July 1, 2003 10:56:10 PM

The ideal solution would have been to run Category 6 or 5e at the same time the coax was put in.
July 2, 2003 8:11:57 AM

Well, i know that the original post is dead now, but i have some trouble wit simmilar problems. Actualy i managed to make something like this, but not with one building, but with 10. The contract what we created was that, a stairway will be wired if there is 5 ppl who joins the network. Started slowly, but soon a lot of ppl joined in (these are 4 story buildings). So now, i have aprox 80 user in switched lan, easch stariway has a 24 port 3com switch, running 100mbit utp to each flat. And each stairwy switch is uplinked via fiber, se there is gigabit connection to a backbone switch with 12 1000base-sx port(3com also).

The main purpose was to make a LAN rather than shareing internet connetcion. We had a file server with 1 terra scsi raid hdds, of course with gigabit uplink. Then come up a suggestion to make some internet connectivity. We oredered a BDSL (business ADSL) with 1500kbit badwith. It was good, but we now need more. I'm using Cisco routers to join the BDSL to my network. We discused to order another BDSL with 1500 kbit (unfortunately in our area this is the best business solution... which we can afford tu buy).

But now come the question... how do i manage to install two dsl connection to my network? I thought about making two ip network, and setting up the dhcp servers to give 2 different gateway to the 2 network, but again then i had to buy veery expensive routers to connect these to 2 segments with gigabit. And bandwith management would be a problem also, one segment could use only the bandwith of its gateway, but not the other.
I checked Cisco's EtherChannel soultion but i dont know too much about that, and its seems to me its working only between switches and routers, not with 2 different data sourche devices (like the 2 DSL routers).

So, someone has any idea how could i connect the 2nd BDSL to the network?
!