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The May 23, 2005 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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Planning Our "Broadband Condo"

From the time we started this Broadband Home Central website, we have been writing about how we use our home as a testbed to learn about new technologies for the broadband home. The experience we have received this way is far more valuable than just reading about new technologies and products.

We recently added a vacation home to the mix of places we spend our time, so we now have the fun (or perhaps challenge) of making it broadband friendly as well. Since we’ve already shared some experiences about equipping our home for broadband and as a comfortable place for both work and play, we’ve decided to invite you along on our new journey-–this time with the vacation condo we’ve just purchased in Sanibel, Florida.

Broadband may not be the first thing that comes to mind in thinking about this vacation island paradise off the Gulf Coast of Florida. But we do sometimes have to work when we are away; even if we didn’t, we still find it impossible to live without our email and the resources we look to every day on the Web.

We rent our condo to guests when we're not using it ourselves, so we have the added challenge of making all the broadband-equipped devices and services easy to understand and use. In addition, when anything broadband-related isn’t working, we'd like to have visibility into it so we can (hopefully) diagnose and fix the problem.

We started planning the broadband infrastructure as soon as we purchased the condo in early April. We first considered the user needs--for our guests and for us--and the current environment at the condo complex. It became clear that three technologies would play a major role: Virtual Private Networking (VPN), Dynamic DNS (DDNS) and wireless bridges.

New work area with PC, cable modem, printer, wireless network --> Click for larger pictureHere's where we are so far. We spent the first week of May at our condo setting up the broadband infrastructure (and much more). Before we left for Florida, we created detail plans, purchased equipment and tested it at home. In Florida, we installed and tested the equipment and got much of it working.

We met all of the user needs for our guests. But we have not yet met many of our additional needs. We have more to do, but will not be able to finish until our next visit during the summer.

See About Our Broadband Condo on our website for details of the story and an update on our progress.