Country Inns & Suites

This is a three level hotel across from KY Oaks Mall and sits next-door from Comfort Suites. When this hotel was built, it was outlined with Cat5 connections in each room. At that time, wireless was not a standard option in hotels. The hotel was using a T1 line for Internet connections. Later the T1 line was removed (cost issues) and the phone systems (including Internet) were upgraded to ADSL.

I was contacted to replicate the system in place at Comfort Suites (regarding the Business Center). This was installed but there was no place to connect it to the Internet. To alleviate that problem, I added in a wireless router into the hotel manager’s office and installed a wireless card in the lobby Business Center computer. This provided wireless to the lobby, lobby computer, and kitchen (semi-weak signal here). During this install, I noticed that the hotel’s front desk system and the hotel’s customer Internet connection were in the same router with no separation of networks. I could easily go through the lobby computer, to the router, and into the front desk systems.

To rectify this problem, I looked into the ADSL connection and found that the hotel had a tree of IP addresses. I installed another router (for the hotel’s Internet connection) and connected it, as well as the front desk router to the ADSL modem. This game each network (front desk, guests) their own private network with two completely different numbering schemes. Later I was called in to switch over the Internet connection from ADSL to a cable connection. The process went pretty smooth. Also, a wireless printer was added for the guests to use. This printer is has a wireless connection to the guests network and can only be accessed from the lobby computer. To help keep printing under control, the printer stays off until a guests ask for it’s services.

The beginning of 2007 started off with this hotel moving to a more widely used wireless signal. I decided to use Linksys/Cisco for this project. Exchanged the wireless router in the manager’s office out for a new Linksys router. Two other routers were added in specific rooms, while repeaters were added into employee rooms. Each repeater hops connections to each other and connects to 1 of 3 physically-connected wireless routers. The range of the wireless network now extends on each corner of the first and third floors, full coverage in the lobby/kitchen/offices, conference room, first and second floor elevator area. Some areas are still weak and need to be tweaked; this was scheduled for a later week in March or April, however it is now past those dates. The owner of the hotel feels that the wireless network is good enough to advertise “Free Wireless Internet” while there are still some areas of no connection. His understanding is that while his Windows XP laptop with a PCMCIA Wireless 802.11b network card tells him that the connection is 1-bar or very low connection, it is still connected and he can use the Internet. Hopefull he will change his mind and allow me to finish the installation.

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