Jump to content.

IFX Group


Vaporware: RV Wireless

There are a great number of Recreational Vehicle (RV) parking lots and campgrounds across the country. Some are very fancy, some are very plain. The most common and most visited sites have a combination of location near some attraction or commonly visited landmark and some minimum level of amenities.

The amenities are most commonly a connection for electric power, water and either a full time waste water connection or a centralized dump station. As more technical people are buying RV rigs and traveling, there is a growing need for one more types of connection - Internet. Currently even the best RV parks can only provide a phone line which is most commonly a single jack in the main office, but may extend to monthly fee jacks near each pad for full time connections.

Very few of the RV park owners are making a lot of money and investing new funds into infrastructure such as new wire is beyond the reach of almost all. There is a solution in the 802.11 wireless standard commonly used in home and small office wireless networking. With a simple, low cost Internet connection like even a dial-up 56k modem, a wireless access point and an antenna able to cover a large part of their campground, it would be possible for these low income park owners to extend their income with a new selling point. Quite often the park visitors use books which review each RV park and list the types and quality of the amenities to choose one park over another. These visitors would be very likely to choose a park with a low cost nightly rate Internet connection over a competitor.

Based on reviews of the current RV traveling population, most are just interested in picking up email and possibly visiting a few web sites to review or revise their travel plans. The bandwidth needs are very small and sharing a single modem connection between 10 or 15 users would still be more than fast enough when compared to a cell phone modem connection at per-minute or per-byte rates. If the demand grows to need more bandwidth, then the park owner will have a means to justify and offset the expense to bring in a higher bandwidth (DSL or cable) connection.

There are solutions available today which could be used in this application, but they are way over priced and aimed only at those with a T1 or faster connection. This is simply way too high priced for the entry level need. If a total startup package including administration and monitoring tools, all connectivity and radio equipment could be made available for less than $900 then this could be a very big deal both to the RV park owner and the RV park visitor.