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Leveling up the Reno Collective network

April 9, 2015 | By |

Reno Collective has been at the “Arlington fishbowl” location now for nearly two years. When we moved in we purchased what we thought were amazing wifi access points, selected the best broadband provider available and lit up some ethernet ports around the space so we could provide some ability to “wire in.”

However, with our new setup, we were seeing a problem. Many of our members work remotely. In doing so, they live and die by VOIP services, Google Hangout, GoToMeeting and other video/audio streaming services to run their business. We started to see a little blip every 15-20 minutes. After talking to a lot of people, this was not uncommon even at their homes with the same provider. The little blip was just enough to knock people off their video calls or kick developers off SSH server sessions. Obviously, this is not ideal for a workspace.

Upgrading the internals

We did another massive upgrade to our network to make sure that we weren’t causing our own issues. First we moved away from our Ubiquiti access points and moved to a much more impressive Meraki access point. Then we upgraded our switch and ran more ethernet cables to rooms that were most likely to use streaming services so we could get them off the wireless network. With all of these changes, we hoped we could made some kind of dent in the problem. Nope. After too many fruitless calls with our current broadband company, we started looking for a new service provider and figured it was time to look for someone who could provide us with a fiber connection.

meraki

Solving the blip: time for a change

In our search for fiber, we discovered that fiber infrastructure was all around our location and potentially available from multiple service providers  but getting it to local businesses remains a “last mile” problem.

The last mile or last kilometer is a phrase used by the telecommunications, cable television and internet industries to refer to the final leg of the telecommunications networks delivering communications connectivity to retail customers, the part that actually reaches the customer.

In our case, it was more of a “last hundred feet” problem but even so, getting the fiber from underground and into the building was going to be extremely cost prohibitive.

We gave up on our quest for fiber until someone unexpectedly reached out to us and expressed interest in what we do for the community and the kind of work our awesome members do each and every day.

Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications & Reno Collective

We’re now excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications (PST) to solve the last mile problem. This will allow us to provide the highest quality service to all of our members and visitors for getting work done, hosting high-tech hackathons, streaming video presentations like TEDxReno, classes and meetups.

pstrc

“PST’s partnership with the Reno Collective is hopefully the beginning of a trend. We are very excited about this opportunity,” said PST General Manager, Bob Marshall.

PST has been amazing to work with so far and our entire experience has been a refreshing change to working with past providers and look forward to growing with them in the future. Full speed ahead!