Direct to van internet broadband: The options explained

You may have heard the expression, Direct To Van when talking with Wi-Fi providers: Its a simple premise – get the internet into the customers van rather than using externally mounted access points. The theory is perfectly sound, but the implementation needs to be carefully thought out.

Directo to Van via 5ghz Wi-Fi backhaul

This is how many of the providers work and this method whilst acceptable is limited in its application. With the high bandwidth required by streaming HD services such as NetFlix, SkyNow and Amazon Prime many parks are implementing high speed leased lines with an average speed of 100MB although 1GB is now being rolled out into many parks.

Due to the way that Wi-Fi works, only 1 device on a channel can actively ‘talk’ at once, and streaming video, being a constant stream places very heavy demands on both the Client Premise Equipment (CPE) and the Access Points these CPE talk back to.

Furthermore, in many cases, the actual backhaul to the client-facing access points, is also served by 5ghz Backhauls which cannot begin to distribute the 1gbs speeds than many parks will be rolling out in the next year or so.

Future broadband requirements, higher latency, slow speeds and no upgrade path are some of the factors you should consider before implementing a 5Ghz based Direct to Van installation.

Direct to Van via Ethernet or Fibre.

Ethernet and fibre deliver superior results and are able to offer up to 10Gbs per van or lodge although a more realistic 1gb is normal.  Whilst you may not have anywhere near that bandwidth to park, having an internal backbone capable of supporting these speeds allows converged networks supporting IPTV, Telephony services, CCTV and staff/guest networks.

The downside to wired solutions is in the delivery – whilst discreet trenching is the standard method of installation, there is some upheaval whilst the ducting is installed and it usually takes a few weeks before the grass has grown back over the trench lines.

However, being able to overcome the limitations of the 5Ghz option, with zero latency and higher speeds makes this the most futureproof option.

A Hybrid Fibre to the Access Point

If trenching to every lodge of caravan puts you off then the next best option is the Fibre to the AP method.  This method allows you to correctly distribute the bandwidth around the park without having to deploy 60/70/80GHz millimetre wave solutions that run into the £1000’s per backhaul.    Modern Wave3 Access Points can easily distribute 1.75Gbs bandwidth and the Ubiquiti NS5 and Loco’s frequently used for backhaul simply can’t deliver enough bandwidth to meet the demands of these access points.

A multicore OS2 fibre is trenched to each access point location, allowing the Access Points to be wired back into the network for blazing fast internet, much lower latency and no line of sight issues either.  By deploying these APS to a guaranteed -65dB pattern using tools such as Ekahau Site Survey there is no need for internal CPE based devices minimising support and product failure.

In Summary

Holiday Park networking has grown up over the last year, with parks realising the need to deploy profession, well managed and well-designed networks to meet the demands of their guests.   Affinity are experts at this and would love to work with you.

Give us a call or drop us an email via the contact us page