Provide a great WiFi internet service at a remote campground or RV park

Attract guests with a great WiFi Internet service

A great WiFi Internet service has become an important decision factor for people making reservations with campgrounds and RV parks. Some guests are families where the children want to play video games at night while their parents upload the day’s photos to social media. Other guests are digital nomads who combine working with travel, and good Internet access is essential for them to work.

Many campgrounds are in remote locations because that is where their guests want to go. Remote locations don’t have mobile phone coverage and don’t have easy access to the Internet because the distance to run a DSL or even a fiber connection is too great.

Internet technology has developed to a point now where any location can provide WiFi Internet for guests using the Starlink satellite Internet service and the products needed to provide the guest WiFi service are easy to install and operate. The campground or RV park owner can install a Starlink antenna and the WiFi and guest controller products; no need to call in a specialist to do that.

There are several options for the RV Park or campground owner to cover the cost of the WiFi Internet and Starlink installation, three are listed below.

  • Provide free WiFi Internet with predetermined conditions of use and include the cost with the site rental.
  • Have guests who want the Internet service purchase access on-line using a credit card, with up to 10 purchase options.
  • Print and sell Internet vouchers in the campground or RV park store that have login codes which are used to access the Internet.

Most businesses prefer to have guests purchase the Internet access so that the site rental cost is not increased. In this case the two options of purchase on-line with a credit card and purchase Internet vouchers in the store can be easily provided.

There are also other important points to consider when providing a WiFi Internet service for guests.

  • Customize the WiFi login page to brand the service and also push advertising for other services that the business offers.
  • Set rules for Internet access that limit the time connected, the data speed and data volume for each user so that one Starlink or other Internet connection can be shared between many people.
  • Install a firewall that connects the guest service to prevent guests getting access to the business computer and point of sale terminal.
  • Monitor the Internet service and the WiFi equipment to get an alert if there is any problem or failure.
  • Protect the network from some types of guest computer virus that can block the network for others, such as a DDoS virus.
  • Prevent copyrighted file sharing by guests, Starlink will terminate the Internet service if this occurs.
  • See status reports at any time about who is using the network and about the operation of the network.
  • Ensure that the Internet use complies with the Starlink terms of service, ensure that the Starlink connection is not overloaded with large data volumes, and ensure that the monthly data quota is not exceeded.

The list above shows a lot of requirements that have to be met to provide a great WiFi Internet service for guests, with the following objectives.

  • The guest is happy with the WiFi service; it is fast and easy to use.
  • The business is safe from any cyber attack attempt from the guest network.
  • The business complies with the terms and conditions of the Internet service provider, in this case Starlink.

Campgrounds and RV Parks have a solution that meets all the requirements and more of providing a WiFi service for guests; this is the Guest Internet controller product that is designed for any business that has to provide WiFi Internet for guests and visitors. A Guest Internet controller has all the features listed above, and features that permit a business to charge for the WiFi Internet service so that the cost of the network infrastructure and operation can be recovered. Guest Internet can connect to any Internet Service Provider (ISP), including Starlink.

How do Guest Internet STAR kits manage and deliver the WiFi Internet service for guests?

Guest Internet manufactures a range of Internet controllers, which are designed for every type of business that has to provide Internet for guests; from the smallest coffee bar to the largest international airport; and includes hotels, campgrounds, resorts and RV parks. Guest Internet products have all the controls listed previously to provide the best possible WiFi Internet service for guests while preventing any abuse of the service.

Guest Internet has a range of WiFi kits that include all the parts needed to start the WiFi Internet service when connected to a Starlink antenna. Guest Internet kits are easy to install and operate by the campground or RV park owners, no need to call a technical specialist to install and operate the guest WiFi Internet system.

The STAR-1 kit is a good example of how the kits are installed. The STAR-1 kit combines a wireless access point with the Guest Internet controller, and can print vouchers for sale and collect credit card payments for Internet access.

The distance a WiFi antenna can reach mobile phones using Starlink in a campground

The Guest Internet GIS-K7 connects to the Starlink router through the GIS-K7 power supply. The GIS-K7 should be installed at a high point, on a building roof or on top of a tower. Mobile phones can connect to the GIS-K7 using wireless up to a distance of about 100m, providing there are no obstructions with buildings or trees in the path. Laptop computers can connect over longer distances. After a simple setup procedure the GIS-K7 is ready for use. The kit includes instructions to connect the GIS-K7 and to work through the simple initial steps.

The Guest Internet controller makes it easy to manage users and to sell Internet access; it is easy for users to get Internet access. Guests connect to the wireless name (called the SSID) and then open a browser to see the login page. Depending on the configuration that the WiFi Internet service provider chooses, the guest might have limited free access, might enter a code from a voucher that was purchased, or purchase an access code on-line using a credit card.

Purchasing WiFi access codes with Guest Internet products

Guest Internet controllers provide three methods to print vouchers with access codes.

  • The Guest Internet GIS-TP1 receipt printer, this thermal printer connects to the GIS-K1, and the GIS-R2 to GIS-R40 controllers. The GIS-TP1 works like a point of sale terminal, up to 10 buttons are configured on the computer screen and clicking a button prints the receipt with the access code.
  • Print vouchers using the Guest Internet controller, all Guest Internet controllers have software that is used to design the voucher and print sheets of vouchers, 16 vouchers per sheet up to 10,000 vouchers. The vouchers can then be cut up and sold.
  • Print vouchers using the free Guest Internet cloud service. The advantage of using the cloud is that many controllers can be added to a cloud group and the access codes printed for that cloud group will be accepted by any controller in the group.
Printing WiFi access vouchers with the Guest Internet cloud account

Installing the Guest Internet and wireless equipment

Guest Internet makes the task of installing a guest WiFi network in a campground or RV park easy by providing kits with easy installation instructions. The installation of the network depends on the size of the property and the location of the guests within the property.

If the Internet service is provided by a Starlink antenna then that has to be installed at a high point with 180-degree visibility of the sky. The Starlink antenna can be installed on the campground or RV park office roof. If there are many trees around the property the Starlink antenna may have to be installed on a mast. Business staff and equipment such as a point of sale terminal can connect to the Starlink router WiFi. A Guest Internet controller connects to the Starlink router LAN port with an Ethernet cable. The Guest Internet controller manages the WiFi service for the guests so that the business can charge for the service, and ensures that the service is not abused, that the business point of sale computer cannot be accessed from the guest network, and that the terms and conditions of Starlink use are met. The campground or RV park business can implement the method of charging guests for WiFi Internet, this might be on-line credit card billing and also a receipt printer that issues receipts with access codes for guests who want to pay cash. The Guest Internet controller connects to a wireless access point that is installed outdoor at a high point. It is important that guests can see this wireless access point antenna; buildings and trees will block the signal.

The network installation is represented in the next diagram. The diagram shows how the equipment is connected. Each campground or RV park location is different and will require planning for the equipment installation.

Network installation using Guest Internet products and Starlink

The campground or RV park owner can install the equipment shown in the diagram by following the detailed instructions that are included with the kit. The range of the wireless access point is limited to a few hundred meters; a laptop computer can connect over a longer distance than a mobile phone.

Campgrounds and RV parks that are very large can extend the range of the wireless using a point-to-point link, however this type of network will require a specialist to plan and install. Equipment that will extend the range of the WiFi connection is shown in the next diagram.

How to extend the WiFi acess up to 1Km using Guest Internet STAR-3 Kit

Help with the WiFi service installation 

The Guest Internet STAR kits offer an easy method of providing campground or RV park guests with a good WiFi service that will get the business excellent reviews. Guest Internet has engineers who can give advice about installations.
Businesses that provide technical services for campgrounds and RV parks can also benefit by installing STAR kits for their customers. Guest Internet provides training for installers and can provide on-line support to answer questions.

For more information about the STAR kits please visit the Guest Internet and WISPzone websites to download data sheets.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published