Sharing broadband between 12 flats

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Steven_W, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Steven_W

    Steven_W
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    Hi all, I'm working on a block of flats where I second fixed an IRS solution for freeview & freesat/sky.

    There is CAT6 going to each flat from a central position in the building.

    I have proposed they have a fibre broadband service installed, then each CAT6 is terminated on a patch panel, then in turn to a 12 way switch and again in turn to a modem/router.

    Each flat will have it's own access point for the person in that flat to access broadband.

    I want to install something between the internet and the lAN that only permits each flat to share data between devices connected to its own AP while still having internet access.

    In essence, the end user experience would just be like broadband at home, but this is using a single broadband service.

    What piece of kit would I need to do that? (Commercial situation so I expect to pay a fair bit for the kit)

    Cheers, Steve.
     
  2. SElwell

    SElwell
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    Any managed switch that supports VLAN isolation/Private VLANs should do the trick. Some more info that may be useful Private VLAN - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

    I've used Draytek routers in the past to separate different companies in an office to provide internet access but prevent them browsing each others networks.

    The Netgear SmartSwitch range supports the VLAN config that you are after. I have the 8 port version (GS108T) and it's a pain to setup for separate port based VLANs but it does work and is cheap. The 16 port GS716T should do what you want for less than £200.
     
  3. mickevh

    mickevh
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    I'd suggest you check with your ISP that they are happy about this as most have a "one premises only" stipulation in their contract and T&C's. I don't know how they would regard a "house chopped into bedsits" type situation, but often they look at things like whether each flat has it's own "front door" and phone line.

    Whilst private VLAN is a viable solution, it does have a few issues with some broadcast type frames, you could run into IP addressing conflicts if users adopt their own static IP addresses or want to create reserved DHCP leases (so "someone" will have to manage the IP addressing scheme & DHCP server for everyone,) and I'd also suggest you need to look at traffic shaping (often IMHO erroneously called "QOS") to prevent one flat monopolising the ISP link (torrenting say) at the expense of all the others.

    If you want a more robust solution, you really need to be deploying a router (proper router, not a SOHO-omni-box) or router/firewall/traffic-shaping appliance that can provide each premise with it's own subnet with layer 3 separation & ACL's between them. In years gone by, you'd need a router with one physical port for each premises, but these days you can put a trunked link into a single interface carry each subnet on it's own VLAN and create "sub-interfaces" in the routing software.

    Increasingly, high end enterprise class switches include features such as these in their design if you shop around.

    If you have a decent ISP, you may find they already have a "solution in a box" designed for such deployments.

    EDIT - Another thought occurs - if any of residents want to do "port forwarding" or uPNP based dynamic/triggered port forwards (online gaming etc.) you're may also run into problems however you set this up if you are trying to masquerade behind a single ISP service with a single public IP address, I think this is unlikely to be something you can install and walk away from. The solution could potentially require ongoing management from "someone." I'd be looking to find an ISP to deal with all the hassle for me. You might be better advised to seek professional help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  4. maf1970

    maf1970
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    I second Mickevh's comments.

    Do you own the block of flats concerned ? I suspect the answer is no. In which case you are opening a massive can of worms with what you are wanting to do.

    So in the first instance get in touch with ISPs and ask them what they could provide for a block of 12 flats regarding internet access. By doing so this passes the onus of provision,reasonable cost of connection, bandwidth, maintenance and customer SLA to the ISP.
     
  5. Steven_W

    Steven_W
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    Thanks for the replies guys... I don't own the flats, these are refurbishments, each flat starting price 300k so freeholder is trusting me to install the right product.

    I'm not a data guy at heart, I know AV systems and signal distribution for flats/hotels etc. as well as domestic. So, it looks like I might be subbing this out to get a price for installation and secondarily management.

    Basically, I suppose you could talk about how to do this until the cows come home, but all this boils down to is end user functionality.

    I need to know that once this is installed, configured and completed, I can walk away in the knowledge that the owner of a particular flat can go in with any number of guests, they can all log on to his AP and have full internet access and share data between any device connected to that AP as if it was only that flat using the broadband, but without being able to share or see any other APs or devices connected elsewhere.

    These are mainly holiday homes and therefore cannot imagine more than 50 devices connected to the whole thing at one time (absolute max, suggest half that for 80% of the time max)

    Imagine maybe 20 smart TVs all streaming simultaneously 4OD or youtube or BBC iPlayer over a 40mbps connection as maximum load.

    Is there a solution? (I'm not a massive data geek so if I can't understand what you are on about but know someone that can this is a sub contractor job).

    Thanks for all your replies.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  6. maf1970

    maf1970
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    From your last post this is most definately a sub-contractor project.
    My initial comment regarding ISPs is the route to go. Armed with all the info you stated here you should be able to get very comprehensive quotes from ISPs that you would then present to the Freeholder and let him choose as he will be the one paying and then charging flat owners as a managed service.
    To make this a viable option you will have to make sure the quotes have info about the connection to each flat. Given that fibre is the current big thing you would have to make sure that the connection available to each flat at least equals the average BB speeds be it normal BB or fibre (e.g. Infinity) in the area.

    Another thing to make it more appealing maybe to consider including VOIP. By doing so I think it would make the overall thing more appealing to flat owners as they would be able to get a phone number and internet access without having to go through the hassle of doing the ordering etc themselves.
     
  7. Steven_W

    Steven_W
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    Many thanks Mike, food for thought there, the more I think about this the more I think I'll be putting this onto a colleague!

    All the best, Steve.
     
  8. mickevh

    mickevh
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    One other thing we haven't considered is the "legal" issues: If someone does something "naughty" the rozzers will be knocking on the door of whoever has their name on the ISP contract.

    Thanks to the concept of "vicarious liability" we can still be held accountable even though we've forbidden such activity and it's a "tennant" that did the deed. The "it wasn't me, it was the kids" argument is legally weak.

    I worked for a business that had a conference centre and wanted to provide paying clients Internet access in a way not too dissimilar to what you are trying to achieve. We "solved" all the problems of liability, service etc. etc. by approaching some ISP's that had products designed for this type of environment. We found one that managed everything for us (24x7 end user phone support, technical stuff, legal, etc.) all we had to provide was a phone line to service the ADSL ISP link and the LAN/WLAN infrastructure (we didn't have to do the latter, but we had it all in place already so it was a doddle to add just another SSID.) If we hadn't had the kit in place already, they could have provided it for us (at cost of course.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013

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