Connectivity for Visitors (Part I)

24 Jan

Connectivity for Visitors (Part 1)

This multi-part series about connectivity will shed some light on the multifaceted challenges you need to overcome to provide a solid Internet connection for all your visitors. Part I is mostly about the general approach, plus a technology overview. The parts after this will talk about specific solutions for common situations.

If you have any specific questions about connectivity that you would like me to write about, please feel free to comment on this article, and we will try to answer your questions.

When talking to museums about connectivity, we often hear that they “have” WiFi and therefore it’s not problem to give all visitors Internet access.This assumption is not necessarily correct. In fact, it’s not correct for most locations that have heavy traffic.

If you happen to work for an institution that sees about 30-100 people daily, don’t bother to read on. You’re probably fine with the WiFi configuration the way it is as long as not all of these people show up at the same time.

For all others, at least spend some time to think about the implications for your organization.

These are the main factors to consider when planning a WiFi network for visitors:

Speed-related

  • Connection speed of the overall broadband connection that comes into the building
  • Number of lines
  • Base load on that connection for the institution’s operations
  • How many visitors need to use the connection at the same time? (Peak & average)

Content-realated

  • Does the content you are providing require a lot streaming (e.g. audio,video)?
  • Are visitors just consuming data (e.g. taking a tour) or are they also uploading data (surveys, gaming activity, etc.)

Security-related

  • WiFi with password vs. open access point
  • Separation of the internal network (staff/private) from the visitors network (public)

Infrastructure-related

  • Do you have an IT person or a system administrator?
  • How large is your institution (square footage) and what is the general layout of the place (multi-story building, thick walls, underground)?

In the next parts of this series I will talk more about the impact the answers to these questions have on the planning process.

Subscribe to this blog if you don’t want to miss the other parts of this series. Do you have questions about your WiFi connection? Leave a comment and I will try to address specific questions.

One Response to “Connectivity for Visitors (Part I)”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Connectivity for Visitors (Part II) « TourSphere Points of Interest - February 10, 2012

    […] challenges you need to overcome to provide a solid Internet connection for all your visitors. Part I was mostly about the general approach and to give a technology overview. If you have any specific questions about connectivity, you would […]

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