The IT department in the main office should send their experienced people to design a network, order and install networking equipment, and hook that network up to the internet. If they can’t come out themselves, they may have consultants that they can send. Work with them to get things set up.
Get them out to the field location early. Purchasing and setting up the equipment necessary for networks can take a long time.
Wireless versus wired networks: You may start with a simple wireless network for a small, temporary office. But when you have a long term location established, you will use a wired network as your primary networking resource. Wired networks are more secure, faster, and more reliable. In CRS offices wireless networks are put in only in addition to wired networks, as a secondary resource.
Meanwhile, here’s a list of four probable internet access options; two for the short term, two for the long term.
Quick Solutions for Temporary Small Office or Individual Use
These two options connect one computer to the internet at a time. They are appropriate for individual people, or for small offices (4 -5 people) that have reliable mobile network phone coverage and don’t need to spend a lot of time on the internet.
When using these systems, watch out for data charges and exceeding data plan limits.
- Phones with Modem capability: Some mobile phones can also be hooked up to a computer and used as a modem to provide internet access to the computer. Three thing to look out for with this method: 1) Your mobile phone account might have to be set up for data capability. 2) You may need special software on your computer. 3) Watch out for data charges.
- Mobile Network Modems: A specialized device (not a phone) that can be plugged into a computer and then use the mobile phone network to access the internet. These also generally use a SIM card that is set up especially for data access.
- Satellite internet through BGAN or Thuraya. See Safe & Sound, Chapter 7, p for details. This is usually very expensive.
Longer Term Solutions for Offices
Eventually any office (or guest house) will need a system that can provide internet service to a number of computers at once.
- Local Internet Providers: This is the best option. They will be local, supply and install equipment, and provide maintenance/technical support as needed. If the main office already has an account with a provider, they may be able to just add you on to their plan.
But in remote areas this is not always possible.
- CRS V-Sat System: This option takes the longest and is the most expensive. But when all else fails, this always works. If you have no other reasonable options, contact the DRD MQ about purchasing the equipment for, setting up, and subscribing to the CRS VSAT system.