see our wireWifi is becoming “just another utility, like water, electric or gas”. In fact if a venue didn’t have power or water then you might not visit. we all just expect the services to be switched on.
So when an organisation like a museum or art gallery has a rural setting a reliable internet feed can be difficult to obtain. This means that visitors cant research as the view exhibits. Equally important, people wont stay long in the café and critical revenue streams may be cut.
The trial museum had a problem because one of their restaraunts couldn’t get internet fast enough to let the public connect. Every time they tried, the business network stopped connecting.
Our solution is to trial a 4G internet feed and connect a Ubiquity managed Wi-Fi system. Now every visitor to the café is asked to fill out a questionnaire (paperwork at the moment so that the staff engage directly). This lets us trully measure teh benefit given by the link.
The early results have been fascinating. We thought that the link would be used by kids while the adults have a quiet cup of tea. however the feed back so far includes:
- Poor mobile reception in the area means business people don’t use the café as a drop in office. Now they have Wi-Fi calling!
- People checking the menu or booking a table while walking around the gallery.
- Facebook check ins to let friends know where to meet!
The manager also says he is finding it easier to sell wedding rooms and meeting space because he is confident the Wi-Fi works
The system is based on Mikrotik 4G routers and Ubiquity Wi-Fi devices. The clever bit of course is the programming. We set up the MikroTik to use built in queues so that the bandwidth is shared evenly and nobody can hog bandwidth, blocking everyone else. see our techy post about this here.
The MikroTik is a small device 6″ across that easily mounts on a pole on the roof. Power is provided by the network cable.
The whole system took 90 minutes to install for the trial. The whole system costs just a few hundred pounds with a £30 per month running cost.
It connects using a standard 4G SIM card from almost any provider.
Security is ensured because the system isolates each connection so although you share the same internet feed, one PC or phone cant access another.