Current Trends in Networking: Scotland, UK Case Study

Report on Current Trends in Networking

Considering the need to implement a fast and reliable Internet connectivity for Rubha Reidh, a lighthouse located in remote area in Scotland- UK, it is important to explore a series of determining factors. This would enhance the realization of a technology based system that suits prevailing infrastructure. As such, it is realistic that proper and reliable network is important in the tourism industry hence technological considerations should be made to ensure that the lighthouse overcomes network problems so as to receive a good number of tourists especially during the peak seasons. This report will ensure that appropriate network connectivity is selected so as to enhance proper communication and sharing of electronic files and information in lighthouse located in remote area within Scotland- UK.

 It is a reality that Rubha Reidh lighthouse receives a good number of tourists despite the prevailing network and communication infrastructural problem, but, implementation of a reliable Internet connectivity would be a plus to the lighthouse since tourists like just any other person do value communication as an important tool for development and wellbeing within the global space. As such, the proposed communication infrastructure would entail voice, and up & down links so that voice and data could be transferred and received. The report will further examine the prevailing network technologies within the suburb so as to determine a cost effective way of implementing a reliable communication system.

Whilst technology has gone a notch higher, the extent at which Internet connectivity is embraced affirms that it is currently regarded as a key contributor to business success globally (Como, 2012, p. 12). The various network technologies currently available enhance access to information, hence tourists would effectively use the network infrastructure to browse for relevant information at their disposal to streamlining the organization’s operational functions through prompt update of information on the intranet and the organization’s website within the World Wide Web (Dulaney, 2015, p. 10).

Network Infrastructures

There are numerous network infrastructures and connectivity that operate under distinct platforms. As such, based on location, and being that Rubha Reidh lighthouse is located in remote area within Scotland, perceived number of users and distance from network service provider would be key determinants on whether to adopt wired or wireless connectivity as far as network connectivity costs are concerned. The management of Rhuba Reid lighthouse should ensure that Internet connectivity is sourced from appropriate Internet Service Providers (ISP), Internet Access Provides (IAP) or appropriate and reliable Wireless Service Provider (WSP) (Rhadha, 2010, p. 09). Some of the prevailing Internet connectivity include Dial-Up, Cable Connection, Digital Subscriber Loop (DSL) and Wireless Networks.

Proposed Internet Connection

Before setting on specific Internet connection to adopt for Rhuba Reid lighthouse, distance and connectivity are important considerations. As such, it could be explicated that wired connectivity is likely to be tagged along electricity lines to save on cost of acquiring posts for overhead connectivity, as well as the cost for installing underground cables to the Rhuba Reid location within remote area with poor roads and network infrastructure. However, broadband technology could be appropriate for the lighthouse since it offers a series applications like television, telephony services and Internet access at a considerably high speed. Basically, cable connection is compatible with latter generation programs and Internet access applications like 3G, 4G and 5G and DSL (Katz, 2015, p. 11; Jamil, 2008, p. 31; Como, 2012, p. 28).

Figure 1: Cable Modem Termination System

Now, the organization is supposed to organize and make enquiries from appropriate and reliable Internet service provider (ISP) in Scotland; this will involve respective specifications including number of Internet users, distance, use or purpose of installation and the number of access points that should be created. As such, cable model termination system (CMTS) will enhance transfer of both analog and digitized signals from the ISP to the Rhuba Reid lighthouse (Como, 2012, p. 14).

Now, the cable would require routers to channel the correct data packets to required address locations accordingly, while signal repeaters would be useful in regenerating signal strength to avert cross-talk and signal degradation as it approaches the lighthouse. This would enhance high speed communication with quality voice and data connections (Como, 2012, p. 37). However, on the lighthouse side, the IT department will ensure that installed communication gadgets and modems for encoding and decoding both analog and digital signal actuators are maintained at low temperatures, but with constant powering in order to retain system settings and avert unnecessary disconnections (Katz, 2015, p. 11).

Figure 2: Communication patch panel

Digital Subscriber Loop (DSL) Internet Access

Digital Subscriber Loop uses a single medium- a twisted pair copper line that entail signals that could be modulated to give three channels (analogue for voice-no modulation, and two digital modulated channels for up and down links). Now, considering the distinct area where the Internet services are required; the Rhuba Reid lighthouse areas, adopting DSL network connection would be an appropriate alternative to cable connection since it uses a standard phone line to provide high speed Internet access. With implementation of Digital Subscriber Loop network, Internet connection would be on 24/7 hour basis (Como, 2012, p. 34). This kind of network infrastructure uses wireless technology hence does not require physical cabling prom Internet service provider. Instead, it requires communications modems at the ISP side and the lighthouse side to be able to link up and create active voice and data transfer channels that could effectively send and receive data packets at distinct predetermined data transfer rates of up-to (20Mbps) (Katz, 2015, p. 23).

However, it takes into account the fact that data transceivers detects signal from the Internet Service Provider (ISP)’s communications modems, decodes, and encode the signal to produce distinct outputs that could be tapped by the organization and used in telephony, Internet, and television. Moreover, to integrate DSL and cable modem, the organization has to ensure that subscribed speed is up to 20Mbps so that the clients would get access to quick Internet connection networks (Rhadha, 2010, p. 29; Katz, 2015, p. 27). Thus easing access to information in real time as indicated in diagram 2 below. Moreover, DSL would use coaxial cables, routers and Bayonet Neill–Concelman- (BNC) connectors for quick connection to radio frequency (RF).

Figure 3: Multi Modem Switch.

Figure 4: DSL Connectivity.

However, since DSL connectivity has numerous categories that provides freedom for selecting what best fits organization’s specifications, it is important to explore these categories.

Research indicate that within the United Kingdom, Fermanagh and Cookstown in Northern Ireland have the slowest average Internet speed at 4.3 and 4.4 Mbps. It implies that, for the light house, unlike the past when download speeds were rated below 2.0 Mbps, a better speed of between 10 Mbps, 22 Mbps and 24 Mbps, which is regarded as a superfast could be subscribed to enhance effective communication and data transfer from one remote location to the other (Katz, 2015, p. 42). Generally, considering cable modem offer less reliable services because Internet connectivity is dependent on TV services offered by the service provider. DSL broadband services are much more reliable since the present clients with dedicated Internet service. But, in regard to cost- cable modem services are generally less costly when compared to DSL because they operate based on shared facility. DSL needs a separate pair of wires from each subscriber in addition to installing DSL modem on each line thus making them more costly.

Figure 5: DSL communication modem

Fiber Optic Cable

  In this technology, Rhuba Reid lighthouse should underscore the fact that there is conversion of electrical signals that carry data to light and then sending the light through transparent glass fibers. Data transmission is always at very high speeds more than that of the Digital Subscriber Line by almost 10 or 100Mbps (Katz, 2015, p. 15). Optical fiber has incredibly low loss coupled with extremely high capacity, making it a unique transmission medium. Distance is not an inherent limitation as optical signals can travel 70–80 km before they need to be amplified. As an alternative, the restrictions on bit rate result from the speed of improvement of equipment for data transmission.  

Figure 6: Fibre optic communication modem.

Figure 7: Optical Internet connectivity

Benefits of Fiber Optics

Fiber Optic cable connectivity has several benefits when compared to the traditional connection system which were metallic-based.

Fiber optic cable system are characterized with low attenuation and high signal integrity and quality which provides room for longer interval of signal transmission. Normally, single line systems such as copper based systems which extend beyond 1.2 miles need in-line signal to guarantee satisfactory performance. For fiber optic cables, signals undergo frequent passive and active processing within 100-60 km (Rhadha, 2010 p13). Unlike electrical signals carried in copper wires, light signal which is carried in fiber optic cables cannot interfere with other signals transferred in the same cable. This makes signal transmission faster and efficient.

Cellular Internet Access

Cellular technology makes it possible for mobile Internet access using wireless networks. The technology has evolved over time beginning from earlier analog technologies to the current 3G, 4G and 5G Internet access. Internet access in this technology is through cell phones (Jamil, 2008, p. 28). Speed may vary according to the provider but the common ones are 3G and 4G speeds. 3G is the third generation of the cellular network while 4G is the fourth generation of the cellular network (Como, 2012, p. 8; Katz, 2015, p. 16). However, being that the lighthouse is situated in remote location, it would not be appropriate since high speed/or later technological generations are tested within busy areas which require increased communication technology and rate of resources access (Jamil, 2008, p. 31).

Satellite Communication Network

This network technology is used by many subscribers because it is considered to have high speeds in downloading and uploading. The download speed is usually up to 22Mbps (Zhao, 2010, p15). This has made it possible for downloading large applications. It is possible to download large applications. Speed is the most essential consideration while setting up an Internet connection technology. If the speed is high then there will be no congestion, data packets will not get lost and also there will be no connection time-out (Katz, 2015, p. 20).

Satellite Internet option is available for many since it is easy to install. It just require a dish and a modem thus can be used in the remote areas like Rubha Reid where dial up or even cable modem cannot be accessed. It may affect performance of the satellite Internet technology. However, satellite Internet technology is a bit expensive because of the installation of the dish and modem but a better choice for the location of Rubha Reid.

Figure 8: Satellite Connectivity

Retrieved from https://www.itaus.net/info.asp

The premises where the whole communication system should be set, with a satellite receiver on the rooftop to link up with the ISP server system through to get both voice and data. However, satellite download link is obtained directly from satellite. However, in order to effectively implement this system, it require a two to three feet satellite dish and communications modems. Coaxial cable would be connected from the dish to communications modem for the users’ computers and other connectivity and gadgets with wireless features. Comparatively to WiMAX, providing Internet connections in rural areas using satellites has high financial gain hence Internet service providers would opt for it (Katz, 2015, p. 33).

Figure 9: Wireless router.

Novel Connection Technologies

An alternative source of Internet for the light house in remote location within Scotland would be wireless connection technology like WiMAX, balloons, satellites and laser link technologies. Although some alternatives such as distributed Internet systems failed in the past, the vast distance that would be covered by wired networks in rural areas makes it too expensive to install and maintain networks in rural areas in Scotland (Dulaney, 2015, p. 36). Thus making it appropriate to purpose wireless network connectivity for the lighthouse located within remote area (Rhadha, 2013, p. 25). Moreover, being that homes are sparse in rural areas, the lighthouse could be befit from high speed wireless communications.

      Figure 10: Wi-Fi Router.

After the inception of Wi-Fi, through innovation, further studies indicate that WiMAX and BridgeMAXX were introduced in late 2004 and early 2005. This is a noble technology which is openly available. This technology has greatly reduced the 802.16 requirements into small set of requirements. WiMAX has higher data transfer rates which are as high as 70Mbps, thus making it reach over 50 Kms (30 miles). Unlike security provisions in Wi-Fi, WiMAX could be effectively adopted since it is compatible with standards of similar nature. This is not possible when using Wi-Fi networks. It is important to state that WiMAX has got spawn of WiMAX like services including BridgeMAXX, another wireless services that is provided by Digital Bridge Company. As such, this company uses long towers with 5 miles radius especially when provision Internet services to rural areas.

Figure 11: WiMAX Network system

Figure 12: WiMAX Accessibility

Costs of Various Access Technologies

  WiMAX CDMA450 WiFi WipLL
Coverage 5km 17km 1-2 km (omni directional) 5km (directional)   5km
Number of simultaneous users 16  users 32 users on each 1.25MHz carrier 3 for 802.11b (directional) 24 for 802.11a (directional) 126 users total
Spectrum costs Unlicensed (2.4/5Ghz) Licensed (3.5GHz)   Licensed Unlicensed Unlicensed
Spectrum availability 380MHZ at 2.4GHz (13 users) 200MHz at 2.4GHz (13 users) 150MHz at 5GHz (13 users) 9Mhz FDD (Feature Driven Development) 80MHz at 2.4GHz (13 users) 580MHz at 5GHz (13users) Same as WiFi
Peak throughput per user 4Mbps 1Mbps (7 users) 802.11b:5-7Mbps 802.11a:20-30Mbps 4Mbps
Base station costs current, projected (2yrs) $1,999 $1,000 $20,000, $10,000 $500, $300 $2,100, $1,500
Subscriber unit costs current, projected (2yrs) $1,99 $600 $250 $150 $200, $150 $500, $300


Table 1. A comparison of capabilities and costs of various Access technologies

Recommendation

In order for Rubha Reidh to choose the most appropriate technology, it is recommended that the organization should consider the various features associated with each type of Internet connectivity and corresponding infrastructure; including cost, accessibility, security, availability as well as the business needs of the tourist center. Why, this will greatly affect the financial viability of the company. It is not justifiable, neither is it appropriate to install or to integrate services that would be of no benefit to the entire organization. If the cost of Internet connectivity and corresponding maintenance is higher that the perceived gains, then it would be worthless.

However, due to the remote location of Rubha Reidh, WiMAX could be recommended for the lighthouse since it provides additional range of network strength in tens of kilometers. Moreover, WiMAX is cost effective since it does not require expensive cabling and wires which have to be maintained continuously. Often what increases the cost of Internet connection is the physical connectivity. Thus affirming the reasons as to why Rubha Reidh should adopt WiMAX as the first priority among other available Internet technologies. In addition, the use of unlicensed WIMAX within rural areas is very cheap although it has a major disadvantage that; unlicensed spectrum has issues with collusion response and data loss that are not often prevalent with licensed spectrum (Dulaney, 2015, p. 24).

Now, regarding cable technology, distance and flexibility especially when carried over electric power lines, which are fixed slightly below the electric power lines on the same electric pole. This could only be adopted in case the lighthouse is assured of constant flow of tourists, why say this, because it has got high connection and maintenance costs as well as service or subscription costs. Coaxial cables used are effective yes, but expensive although it provides additional services like TV signals within hybrid Fiber/Co-ax cable infrastructure. As a result, if Rhuba Reid lighthouse adopts cable technology, clients and the management would effectively connect and communicate but at higher cost leading to the need to concurrently increase the cost of service provision in the lighthouse.

However, the lighthouse should only adopt fiber optic technology when there is high traffic and use of Internet and other services within the organization. For organizations that does not rely overly on Internet use, adopting this technology would not be cost effective since it will not have enough traffic. It will be like a waste of resources since huge bandwidth will be redundant to the lighthouse. Another option that would suit the Rhuba Reid lighthouse is DSL, but it require shorter distance. Despite the fact that the lighthouse is located in remote area, distance might be short or long, for short distances, it would be recommended that DSL be adopted for Internet connectivity. This is due to the fact that it is only available to systems within 3-4 miles of the central office, but through the use of repeaters, it is possible to enhance signal strength since it is capable of recovering voice and data losses that results from cross-talk and signal degradation.

Conclusion

Although, all the above explicated network technologies are available for Rubha Reidh, the management of the organization have to decide on which one best suits their operability as far as Internet use is concerned. Network connection is very essential for tourist attraction centers. Hence, tourists will need Internet to search directions and also for uploading and downloading data. Rubha Reidh is located along a remote coastal area of Scotland but it is a beautiful site that attracts a lot of tourists especially during the holidays.

References

Como, J. (2012). Different types of Internet connections. [

Dulaney, E. (2015). Internet Access Technologies. Installation and Configuration of WAN Technologies. Indiana: Pearson IT, pp. 2-5.

Jamil, M. (2008)” 4G: The Future Mobile Technology”, in TENCON 2008 IEEE Region 10 Conference, 19-21.

Katz, M. (2015). Two novel technologies enabling IoT: Mobile clouds and Visible light communications. Center for wireless communications: University of Oulu.

Rhadha, B. M. (2013). Internet connections. Journal of Information Technology Vol 2 314-318

Zhao, R. 2010. White Paper: Broadband Access Technologies. FTTH Handbook

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