Pennine Provide Wireless Access for Conference Centre

A prestigious hotel and conference centre in South Manchester has put its guests, visitors and staff on-line with free wireless internet access throughout the complex.

The system is designed with the capacity to cope with all the delegates from a conference logging on to the internet to check their e-mails during a coffee break, whilst there may be laptop users in another conference room doing internet-based training, and guests using the internet in their rooms.

Pennine Telecom carried out the installation of a Motorola Symbol Wireless network at Bredbury Hall Hotel and Conference Centre in partnership with Equanet, a division of DSGI Business.

There are 18 wireless access points covering all 140 bedrooms and 10 conference rooms.

With the potential of over 200 conference delegates in addition to guests and internal users, capacity was a prime consideration. Pennine addressed this by using multiple broadband connections to provide the necessary bandwidth, whilst the equipment automatically balances load between the connections, vastly improving capacity.

“The equipment is very secure,” said Ian Taylor, of Pennine Telecom. “It has a Watchguard firewall which uses load balancing between the broadband connections and also provides security.”

“Nobody, for instance, could drive into the car park and sit in their car and hack into the system. We installed a server providing a welcome page and access control to make sure nobody can hog the bandwidth.”

The wireless coverage was planned using survey and mapping software to ensure there were no blackspots.

“The system was designed to be extremely reliable and robust, and several months on, I am very pleased with the performance of the system. Pennine Telecom managed the design and implementation very efficiently.” said Ross Finch, Business & I.T. Manager at Bredbury Hall Hotel.

In addition to general internet access the network can also support other applications in the future such as mobile VoIP handsets and CCTV.