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Rural Connectivity Made Simpler

Starlink Rural

Rural Connectivity Made Simpler

Are you looking for rural connectivity?

Starlink and managed Wi-Fi are a powerful combination especially suited for farms and small businesses.  Think of the range of requirements such as farm shops, buildings (maybe listed) cafés, rural events, even village and small-town Wi-Fi where fibre has not been laid and you can see the extent of the problem.

To come up with a solution, Westend WiFi created and tested a combination of hardware and services that enable secure and managed public Wi-Fi for any rural location.

Backhaul has always been the biggest challenge, as rural locations have been underserved by the fixed and mobile internet providers.  This is changing – but only slowly and in limited number of areas.

Regular satellite backhaul is constrained by bandwidth (slow service and restricted data limits), latency (drumming of fingers waiting for something to happen), and eye-watering cost.

Starlink has simply changed all of that.  It’s fast, has unlimited data, is affordable, with low latency – good enough for gaming.  Whilst other satellite companies such as Amazon’s Kuiper and OneWeb talk about similar services, only Starlink has an operational satellite network that covers the UK, USA, Australia and most of Europe. From 2023, Africa and additional countries in South America will be included.

Rural public Wi-Fi installations require the following hardware:

  • Starlink dish,
  • Mesh enabled outdoor Wi-Fi access points (e.g. from Ruckus, or Cambium)
  • An alternate PoE multi port router for VLAN management and power,
  • DHCP management from either the router or a Nomadix Gateway,
  • Micro PC for local management alongside Netcelero for external VPN,
  • Cloud based Wi-Fi controller
  • Onboarding system such as our GoZoneWiFi instance.

This sounds a lot of kit, but it’s actually not since once it’s configured, it’s plug and play.

Importantly, we also use DNS filtering and port blocking to ensure, as far as possible, public Wi-Fi users are protected from extreme web sites.  All our services are therefore Friendly Wi-Fi approved.

We have add-ons to the core service to extend Wi-Fi coverage using mesh; remote site connectivity using Point to (Multi) Point for pockets of Wi-Fi coverage; and CCTV/LiDAR for security and crowd management.  The service also supports IoT over LoRaWAN and Sigfox which is focussed on security, air quality and water management.

By building on our testing of Starlink and additional services, Westend WiFi have been able to offer a great foundation for secure Wi-Fi internet solution for farms, remote businesses, country fairs, villages and emergency services.

If you have a question on what we’re doing or need more information, then feel free to contact us.

Test rig:

Starlink Rural

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