Happy glampers

15 July 2019

Southfield Farm Caravan Park in Somerset decided it was time to embrace ‘glamping’.

In order to do this, the site opened an entirely new pitch area called The Pavilion.

Comprising of 48 luxury pitches, the plan was to offer campers electric and piped gas, individually metered water and - most importantly - free Wi-Fi. To achieve the latter the farm needed a company that could design and deploy a wireless network that could deal with the Wi-Fi challenges synonymous with a holiday park.

Wi-Fi has become a staple provision alongside water and energy in every industry, but arguably none more so than the hospitality sector.

People at leisure expect reliable wireless connectivity—anywhere, anytime.

Southfield Farm had a history of low bandwidth, which was often the cause of a poor Wi-Fi experience.

As a result, it was imperative that any upgrade would provide enough bandwidth to cope with the high volume of traffic at the caravan park.

Integrator Affinity Networks needed to address the high level of RF interference the park experienced from not only the farm’s own guests, but the other nearby parks.

2.4GHz and 5GHz ranges in the area were over-saturated, resulting in high levels of interference.

Combined with the constant RF noise and interference from the guests themselves, the result was poor coverage, dropped connections and minuscule data rates.

Affinity sought out its trusted partner and distributor Purdicom, because the right product for the right solution was key.

Purdicom started by supplying three high end Ruckus T300 access points to begin tackling the immense interference issue.

The Ruckus T300 series of 802.11ac access points provide consistent, reliable Wi-Fi in even the busiest of venues to extend range, improve throughput, and deliver solid performance.

The series also uses patented Ruckus technologies such as BeamFlex+ support to direct Wi-Fi signal towards devices and ChannelFly to find less congested Wi-Fi channels with dynamic RF channel selection.

To further compensate for the busy channel frequencies, 200M of OS2 loose tube fibre was laid in 63mm ducting to deliver 1Gbps connectivity to the access points.

The Ruckus APs can deliver speeds of 860MB on 5Ghz and 300MB on 2.4, so high quality back-haul is important.

Last but by no means least, Affinity deployed a dedicated 100MB/100MB leased line, which features a fully managed firewall with SNMP and NetFlow monitoring to ensure optimum performance of all available bandwidth.

The park has since re-opened to the public and the improved connectivity is conspicuous.

“Now got better internet access – not a bad price if you stay for a week,” writes one happy camper.