Building Re-entry:4 Things to Consider As You Prepare Your Network
Building operators: Is your building ready for return to work, school, travel…life? Getting back to “normal” is on everyone’s mind. Inevitability we will return to buildings and resume some new normal way of going to school, going to work, or going on a trip.
Without a doubt, this post-pandemic reentry to buildings will require modifications in the near and long term to keep people safe while maintaining productivity and comfort. Here are four things to consider as you prepare your network:
- What new devices will you require?
Will you need thermal cameras, new access control points, facial recognition? These new monitoring points will require increased bandwidth and network extensions to all corners of your campus. Many times, these new monitoring points will be over 300 feet from your existing power or communications. One unique way to solve for these new requirements is a simple system that is quick to commission: a pre-configured, ethernet network that utilizes the bandwidth and distance capabilities of fiber optic cable along with remote DC powering.
So, think about powered devices at the edge of the network such as a security camera. This solution can provide the bandwidth needed, along with power, and eliminate the need for a local AC outlet – making it quick to deploy. Check out these preconfigured networks with remote powering solutions as an option for these applications.
- How will you use monitoring for safety and security?
The "new normal" will require increased monitoring and location services to improve the health and safety of people in buildings. Private LTE represents a great option when mobile phone, app-based controls are being considered. Along with potential for location services, LTE offers identification capabilities that will be required to monitor buildings properly. An LTE network can be stood up quickly and you can use unlicensed spectrum as that requires zero coordination with cellular carriers. See this brochure on CBRS and Private LTE networks.
- What reconfigurations will you need in your facility?
Plan ahead. As an example, many times reconfiguration can be complicated with crowded cable pathways. As you reconfigure, the job can be simplified now and in the future by considering more elegant network infrastructure solutions like fiber optics as a cabling medium. It’s very difficult to add pathways and spaces to an existing building; a fiber-based network from the riser to the edge of your network offers the capability to provide power and unlimited bandwidth in constrained spaces where adding larger copper cables may not be an option. Re-entry will drive the need for quick network upgrades in existing facilities, making fiber a smart choice.
- How do you continue to support remote services?
Remote work. Remote learning. Remote healthcare. Whether you're in higher education, residential buildings or corporate offices, the need for remote services won’t go away when buildings reopen. This will increase the network bandwidth requirements in new areas of your campus or facility. Bandwidth in the right place at the right time is a challenge and people are noticing. Funding is becoming available in many ways -- for example, some governments are allocating millions to schools for technology enhancements, including broadband upgrades that enable Wi-Fi access.
Additionally, handling backend network support as people shift from remote to office in rotating schedule scenarios could lead to complex VPN management scenarios. Network surveillance and monitoring continues to be critical and, in this environment, will become more complex.
The switch from working in the office to working remotely happened almost overnight as the pandemic struck last spring. Now, with building reopenings on the horizon, it’s time to step back and consider the implications for your network as people prepare to return. The new normal means new network requirements – and new possibilities.