Camp Wireless article

How to offer wireless Internet access on a campsite

Making wireless Internet access possible technically and organisational is quite some work. The site will need one or more access-points with network in between, and somehow an uplink to the Internet. For Internet the campsite owner can either get some sort of broadband line and use some sort of Internet sharing to get that to all campers, or get a dedicated business line. All depending on the level of Internet access you want to give, the speed and the quality. Sites can include it in the cost of the campsite or make it a separate item on the bill or even make people who use it pay by the minute. For the organisation, at least people need to be made aware of the availability of wireless network, maybe campers need introduction on how to use this or even technical help getting it running. When people are charged for usage, this must be included in the administration. Maybe you want to rent or borrow wireless cards to campers that want to use the wireless network but don't have their own equipment. And how do you make sure those cards get returned. How do you solve technical problems such as client cards not working with your access-point.

Offering it for free can make it simple: "You get what you pay for, if it does not work nothing is lost". Commercial offerings mean more effort to make it run and probably a need for technical knowledge on site.

The early offerings of wireless networks on campsites were done by hobbyists with their own knowledge of computers, networks and wireless. On my visit to Vammen Camping Denmark I heard that the wireless network there was set up as a study project by a relative of the owner. Camp Cape San Blas Camping Resort set up wireless as a project by some ham enthusiasts who were frequent visitors to the campsite.

Companies such as CampLan or LinkSpot offer the complete setup of wireless on a campsite, including placing a sign on the front gate. This is interesting as a second generation where less technical knowledge is available on the campsite but the owner wants to add wireless Internet access to the offerings of the site.

So, choices are between complete commercial setups (with an associated pricetag) and complete do-it-yourself setups, and everything in between those two options. Choose wisely. Ask around, maybe some of your regular visitors can help set you up!

Koos van den Hout
Webmaster Camp Wireless
koos@camp-wireless.org
https://www.camp-wireless.org/article/howwireless.shtml Camp Wireless Camp Wireless, Wireless Internet access at campsites.
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