Braintree Town Hall
APC established its relationship with Braintree District Council in September 2012. Capita, who procures IT solutions on behalf of Essex County Council and is a former client, approached APC with the requirement to install an encrypted Wi-Fi network within Braintree Town Hall. The Wi-Fi solution needed to provide a secure network for the council as well as a separate guest Wi-Fi network for its external meeting and conference facilities.
APC Solutions designed, modeled, installed and commissioned a Ruckus Wireless LAN (WLAN) network. The WLAN network is centrally managed via an 1106 Ruckus Zone Director and incorporates four 7363 Access Points. The Ruckus Zone Director gives the council’s IT administrators full control over the wireless network, security, RF and location management modules. It also reduces administration time by enabling the IT administrator to make network wide changes, firmware upgrades and client monitoring. This reduces the need to log on to each Access Point individually to make changes or enhancements.
Braintree District Council commented, “We’re delighted with the new Wi-Fi solution which addresses all of our requirements. We needed to be able to offer visitors to the Town Hall free Wi-Fi, but we also needed our own encrypted network for internal use. The Town Hall regularly hosts events, is used as a wedding venue and features conference facilities all of which require access to Wi-Fi. Being able to offer Wi-Fi in to the function rooms where guests can log on for free is now an expected requirement of our guests and we couldn’t offer the Town Hall as a business venue without it!”
The wireless network provides the council with two separate ESSID’s (wireless networks). The first is an internal network used by office staff requiring wireless access enabling staff to carry out business related tasks. The second is a public guest network, providing Internet connectivity. Within the Town Hall there are meeting and training rooms which can be privately hired and now come complete with their own access to the Wi-Fi network.
A receptionist who can generate passkeys via their PC manages the guest wireless access. The receptionist can manage connection times and can generate multiple passes dependent on group size. This bespoke requirement enables easy management of guest wireless access and reduces security risks as passes expire after specific set time scales.
Speaking about the solution Group Technical Director, Chris Lynch, comments: “Braintree District Council had a very specific set of requirements for the Town Hall. It needed to offer guest access for its private meeting rooms but needed to ensure this network was separate to the council office’s network. Further to this requirement, it also needed to ensure that guest access could be limited and issued through a password-generated account that could be monitored, internally. APC fulfilled these requirements and the council now offers a Wireless LAN solution delivering up to 300Mbs transfer speeds. The council can also track the usage thanks to individual password generation”