You buy your new home, maybe it’s your first home. You move in, switch the light switch and lights come on. You go to cook your first meal in your new home, put the oven on and it heats up. You sit down to surf the Internet and wait…. no Wi-Fi or Internet. You’ve forgotten you have to wait 4 weeks for the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to “connect you”.
Even then, after endless upselling, the ISP simply sends you the equipment for you to plug in to your phone point. The phone point is often placed in a room that is closest to the street and from then onwards that phone point becomes the “gateway” to your digital world.
As designers and installers of Smart Homes, we are the forefront of technical solutions for homes and we are frustrated that developers and builders do not utilise our knowledge to provide even the most basic infrastructure. However, we have seen a light at the end of our tunnel, from one of the nation’s largest, albeit based in the US, developer Lenner announcing the world’s first WI-FI Certified Home TM who are pre-installing Wi-Fi Certified Home networks
What is a Wi-Fi Certified Home?
Let’s assume we all understand the term Wi-Fi, what is Wi-Fi Certification? As defined by the Wi-Fi Alliance®, the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ is an internationally-recognised seal of approval for products indicating that they have met industry-agreed standards for interoperability, security, and a range of application specific protocols. This is great as we already only use Wi-Fi Certified products on all our smart home installations from manufactures such as Ruckus, Pakedge and Ubiquiti. Therefore, we must be already providing Wi-Fi Certified Homes? Well, no!
For builders to certify their designs they must join the Wi-Fi Alliance®, as a Contributor Member at $15,000 per annum which allows them to get their floor plans certified and to list their schemes as a Wi-Fi Certified Home. In addition to the annual fee, this involves the builder to submit the property’s floor plans and the Wi-Fi Alliance®, using software, probably from the above manufacturers, to calculate the optimal locations to place Access Points to ensure consistent Wi-Fi coverage.
What are Wi-Fi Access Points?
If you think about the piece of equipment you get from your ISP, it has basically two functions; to physically connect you i.e. you plug it in to your ISP’s phone line which in simplistic terms is the “Router” function; and an antenna for you to “connect” your devices in your home wirelessly which is effectively the “Access Point” function.
By using more Access Points around your home, you are effectively providing more antennas for you to wirelessly connect to. However, simply having more antennas can also provide a negative effect unless they are planned correctly.
This planning process is called Heat Mapping and we already do this for all our customers.
We applaud Lenner for their forward thinking Wi-Fi Home Design Program, in building homes with cabling installed and hidden in walls connecting-up all the pre-installed access points that have been strategically placed, to a pre-installed router ready for when the home owner moves in.
Going back to the existing situation in the UK. The phone point we all use to connect the equipment from our ISP is never in the best location. Not only do we adapt our furniture layout to suit its location so we have somewhere to place the ISP’s equipment and our house phone. But, worse, its location, becomes the single point to connect all our wireless devices. Even for the most technophobe household, there will be at least a mobile phones, tablet or laptop each. Not to mention households embracing smart home IoT (Internet of Things) devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Nest Thermostats; smart TV’s; baby monitors; CCTV cameras, etc!
Despite, ISPs marketing, offering “The UK’s most powerful Wi-Fi signal” or “superfast Wi-Fi speeds” one access point can only provide so much Wi-Fi coverage around your home, let alone outside the house, in your garden.
You wonder why we all hear “the Internet is slow this evening” across the country but by then the home is decorated and the thought of having an engineer install new cabling from the phone point to the optimum Wi-Fi Access Point locations is even less desirable. So, we all just live with poor performance. Some may try Wi-Fi boosters or mains Wi-Fi extenders but these simply do not compare to a professionally designed, ideally managed, Wi-Fi network.
Although we are still advocates for comprehensively cabling your home, given the opportunity, to support smart home systems such as lighting and heating control; security; audio and visual distribution. Planning a reliable and secure Wi-Fi network is paramount to supporting modern living.
So to all developers, builders, self-builders contact us today and allow us to provide you with simple, certainly more cost effective, professionally designed Wi-Fi package for all your new schemes and offer your purchasers an “everything’s included” stress free experience as your unique selling point.