Crazy access point setup

The four basic needs

I wrote a few months ago about being asked by Wycliffe Germany to upgrade their wireless network. As I discussed the project with their current director, Angelika Marsch, I mentioned that I have observed that people aren’t content anymore with the traditional needs of food, clothing, and shelter. We (yeah, me, too) have added a fourth: Internet access.

When conference or meeting attendees arrive at the venue, they ask three questions, and not necessarily in this order:

  1. Where is my room?
  2. When (and where) is the next meal?
  3. How do I get on the Internet?

Most people have brought their clothing with them. (Well, those are the only kind I provide support for, anyway.)

Crazy access point setupSo my goal at the Wycliffe center was to give guests (and staff) a great experience with Internet access. Whether folks are inside or outside – it is, after all, a beautiful setting with cool weather – their devices should be able to connect quickly. The new equipment we ordered arrived over several days, and I set to work right away as each piece arrived and prepared it for installation. Some things, like the wireless access points you see in the picture, could be set up en masse.

No little green men in these "UFOs"Once I installed some core equipment around the center that would provide both data and power to the new wireless system – and at faster speeds than before – the rest of the installation went very smoothly. The center manager and I went from one spot to another, securing mounting plates and plugging the little “UFOs” into the network. Gradually, the new wireless network took shape and became active.

During the meetings that inspired the upgrade, we received nothing but compliments from the attendees. Since then, many people – whether guests or everyday staff – have commented on the improvement. There are areas in which I know I can make some improvements, but this experience has been very satisfying, and the sight of people happily and comfortably doing email or connecting with family back home is all the reward I need.

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David Liddle

I grew up outside of Philadelphia in Media, PA, and graduated from The Citadel in 1994. I joined Wycliffe Bible Translators in 1995 and went to Africa for the first time in 1997. Katherine and I were married in November 1998.