Bandwidth Hogs

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Vegas Tom, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. KLBram

    KLBram
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    As someone mentioned before, there are full timers who are at parks everyday. Hotels, and now the National Park system, are jumping on free USABLE wifi. Stop thinking that everyone is just a weekend/vacation camper. It's our lifestyle.
     
  2. docj

    docj
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    3,674
    Likes Received:
    161
    One of the problems with this sort of discussion is that the so-called RV community is made of up several rather distinct kinds of participants:

    #1) the vacationers and weekenders who wonder why anyone needs an internet connection while enjoying the great outdoors,

    #2) senior citizens and others who continue to think that the purpose of the internet is to receive email and maybe look at a few funny animal videos

    #3) those who live full-time in their RVs and expect internet access equal to what is available to anyone else in the country

    There's no way that most RV parks can develop wifi systems that will please all of these groups unless they devote more resources to the task than most of them are doing at the moment. It is quite feasible to have a wifi system that provides free "base level" service to all customers with a limited number of higher speed channels available for those who wish to pay for them. A really sophisticated system might make it possible to rent high speed internet by the hour so you could buy access to stream a movie on a Saturday night when the family was on its weekend excursion. Virtually anything is possible if you are willing to take the time to set it up.
     
  3. wtravlr1

    wtravlr1
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    On our park wifi I can see each persons computer by computer name and mac address. I can see each persons data usage. If they operate within the rules i.e. no download large amounts of data (that will slow the stream for everyone) then they will have a fast responsive internet. If they start to abuse the system by thinking they are the only user and do not care that it is a shared resource i.e. no downloading hd movies. I can block them and send a message that will show up on their computer about their usage. They will get a block and not be able to access the internet for a period of time. The usage norms are quite liberal at about 800 mb down per day. If they abuse it again then i can throttle their use so the most they can do is basic email with graphic being slow but loadable, and movies will not play at all. We use a cloud based mesh network in our park. Park wifi is a limited resource like water in a pipe, their needs to be enough for everyone to use within the limitations of our bandwidth limits.
     
  4. Andy R

    Andy R
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    7
    That's cool that you can manage it as such a granular level. Can you automate that process rather than have to monitor it?
     
  5. KLBram

    KLBram
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just wondering if you monitor everyone's use of water and electric? If they shower too much will you shut them off? What about if they use electric for their a/c in the summer? As was just mentioned before, rver's come from several different groups but you are penalizing the group that wants internet just like home. It's part of life for everyone to have GOOD internet access. Of course the campgrounds will get to be known by their allowing for unlimited access. I read the reviews and if internet is low rated or non-existent, I won't go there. And if you have Tengonet, I definitely will not go there. More and more people will react the way I do.
     
  6. docj

    docj
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    3,674
    Likes Received:
    161
    In a sense, your electricity usage is monitored because you have either a 30A or 50A connection and there are plenty of parks that charge extra for 50A. At home, your house may have a 100A or even 200A connection to the utility grid and you learn to make the necessary accommodations when you use your RV to deal with the reduced max current.

    IMO, RV parks ought to let customers know what kind of wifi service is included in the basic rate. If the wifi is being throttled so that web surfing is Ok but streaming video is not then that ought to be clearly stated in both advertising and at check-in. Customers can make conscious choices whether or not to stay at parks that offer only limited wifi but I think that knowing, in advance, what to expect will reduce the likelihood that a disappointed customer would berate a park for not offering "residential quality" wifi. If you're going off for a camping weekend with a family of web-enabled kids you'd probably be far happier to know, in advance, that this is going to be a "Blu-ray/DVD-only" weekend.

    Personally, I agree with LKBram that, in the long term, market pressure will eventually force RV parks to provide better wifi so that customers can have "nearly the same as home" levels of service. That's a ways off and some more rural parks will continue to have difficulty getting such service at any price. But IMO you'll have few angry customers if they know, in advance, what services you provide.

    FWIW, as a 5+ year full-timer, we have an unlimited cellular hotspot and rarely use any park's wifi. Many full-timers are self-sufficient in that regard.

    Joel
     
  7. wtravlr1

    wtravlr1
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Yes we do monitor water and electric. As you know many parks you cannot wash your camper because of excessive water usage. Also electric is monitored for 30 or 50 amp. Fact is bandwidth is a limited resource. Cell phone companies sell data by the gigabyte. As for home internet the more speed or bandwidth the more you pay. If you have Directv or a sat. based system you buy your internet by the megabyte. Would you like it if your neighbor at home put in a 5" water main and used the water before it got to your house? Same is true with internet. Our limit is high enough that except for hd movies we can support anything else at 10 Mps down and 3 Mps up. better than most all parks, and everyone can get on when they need to, in order to pay bills and do other essentials important to the RV life style. And yes if a person took a 4 hour shower, we would probably mention it to them as excessive.
     
    Denali likes this.
  8. docj

    docj
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    3,674
    Likes Received:
    161
    IMO if most parks could provide that level of service for all customers, we wouldn't be having these discussions so often. You clearly understand the importance of internet access to your customers. My hat's off to you.
     
    wtravlr1 and KLBram like this.
  9. PatJ3

    PatJ3
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    As a park owner, we offer free WiFi. We have limited bandwidth because the more you want the more you pay and our provider is not cheap. We too can monitor WiFi usage. We encourage customers not to use our internet for mission critical projects or streaming. As the customer uses more the speed of the download gets slower. When they reach the limit of download for a 24 hour period, they are cut off by our system. We have a limit of one device per site and the coupon code we issue is unique to each customer - no sharing. They cannot use the same code on a different device. The smart ones have learned how to put the code on a specific device so all persons in their RV can use the internet. These are usually the ones who abuse and hog the bandwidth.

    We travel in the winter and 99% of the time cannot get on most park free wifi systems unless we are up at 5am. So we started carrying our own hot spot - a MiFi unit from Verizon. Problem solved - I can get on whenever I need to.

    Happy Trails.....
     
  10. KLBram

    KLBram
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    You give sufficient amount of water for me to do everything I need from washing and showering, to using a dishwasher and washing machine. If water was restricted to drinking, you would have no customers. You supply sufficient electric to power my all-electric coach for EVERYTHING I want to use, again from using all 3 of my a/c units at the same time and running all my appliances including a microwave, oven/broiler, clothes dryer and all other electric devices. If you only supplied 120 volts/15 amps, again, I would find another place to stay.

    Then why can't you supply sufficient bandwidth so that I can do what I want?
     
  11. KLBram

    KLBram
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    If this was known by me prior to my booking, I would look elsewhere. If I were traveling with another person, we would have to share a computer. Could not use my phone on your system.

    I believe that time will prove that the "customer" is the person who will judge and not the park owner.
     
  12. docj

    docj
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    3,674
    Likes Received:
    161
    I assume you know how to "defeat" this "one device" restriction. The absolute cheapest way is probably to install a copy of Connectify on one of your computers which turns it into a hotspot which can then be used to share that computer's wifi connection with others in your RV. There are other, slightly more expensive approaches, that can also be used.
     
  13. KLBram

    KLBram
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Btw, I am currently in a park that advertised "free" wifi. What is free is with a download speed of .5mbs and an upload of .1mbs. Can't hardly surf at these speeds. It would drop 2 points off there score and probably never return, as there are others in the area. They do offer a "Premium" wifi, but you must pay for it.
     
  14. docj

    docj
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2010
    Messages:
    3,674
    Likes Received:
    161
    With all due respect, you can, indeed, surf the internet at those speeds, you just won't be able to view many videos or keep too many tabs open. Those used to be respectable 3G speeds a couple of years ago.

    The park's provision for a premium wifi connection for a fee is exactly what I've been suggesting that parks offer their customers. Those customers who don't carry their own hotspot or who want to stream video without busting their cellular budgets may find the premium service attractive depending, of course, on what it offers in capability and at what price.
     
  15. Janet H

    Janet H
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    43
    I appreciate parks that have wifi available but understand that data can be costly especially in remote areas. I also travel with a hot spot and the choices are to pay for wifi at a park or pay for it via my provider. Typically it's a wash cost-wise.

    Full disclosure about the likely connection speeds and available bandwidth are also important and in my experience most parks are transparent about this. It's reasonable to expect campers to stay within the use rules or alternatively enforce them via throttling and major carriers have been doing this for years.
     
  16. mdcamping

    mdcamping
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    606
    Likes Received:
    86
    The past few years we have almost gone extensively on our data plan or data plan first, WiFi second. seems every time we try using WiFi our signal is to weak.

    Mike
     

Share This Page