Running Nowhere requires a good internet connection which most teams at Nowhere use to a greater or lesser degree. This sets out how do that as well as some of the reasons we do that.
When the very first production cabin was used in 2011, the internet connection was a hotspot on someones phone. Due to the Faraday cage effect of the metal cabins, the phone had to be dangled outside the window to get any signal. It was far from reliable and if the production volunteer wandered away or had to use the phone to make a call, the connection was lost.
In 2014 a dedicated 3G modem was purchased and improved the connection a bit, but when everyone arrived on site the local cell masts suffered from overload, and the quality of service dropped significantly.
In 2015 a satellite dish was tried, but the extreme winds we experience kept knocking it out of alignment and it was even less reliable than the 3G modem.
In 2017 during a recce of the new site, a wifi link was tested to the nearest village - Albalatillo. This worked and during the event the Nowhere internet link was fast and stable. Our internet problems were solved!
In 2019 the wifi link proved to be unreliable for unknown reasons. Slow, with frequent dropouts lasting minutes at a time. Two theories for the issue are that a tree has grown over the years and is now blocking the line-of-sight or that the proliferation of wifi AP's at the event is causing interference.
Nowhere uses 2 x Ubiquiti 2.5ghz dish antenna's to create a wifi bridge to the nearest village - Albalatillo - over a distance of roughly 4.3km. The Albalatillo side terminates at the village hall where a fiber broadband router connects to the ISP. The Nowhere side terminates in a Mikrotik router.
20202022 we will attempt to set up an extra 5ghz brige to Albalatillo in conjunction with the 2.5ghz bridge. This will run in active/passive and should hopefully counter the dropouts we saw in 2019. As a backup, a new 4G modem will be purchased and placed at Gate, to ensure the scanners have continuous internet connection. There is a wifi link from Production Village to Gate which means the 4G link can act as a backup for the general Nowhere internet as well.