Stake Leaders and members having bad experience with internet service in the building

Discussions about Internet service providers (ISPs), the Meetinghouse Firewall, wired and wireless networking, usage, management, and support of Meetinghouse Internet
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Stake Leaders and members having bad experience with internet service in the building

Postby gregcamie » Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:48 pm

All of my building has the new 881 routers and 1041 APs with plenty of coverage. All buildings have Comcast businees class broadband. The problem is that members are still complaing of not being able to stream videos from the church website or simply not being able to get online.

This is very frustrating. I have made substantial indications to stake leaders and ward members that after this new hardware and internet connection were put in that they would have a wonderful experiences in using technology to magnify thier callings. Now I have leaders and members coming back to me relating thier bad experience.

My own test have shown that sometimes it can take up to 20 minutes before a simple DHCP address has been given out to a computer (regardless of how many times I release, renew, restart, blah blah. This also seems variable from day today) It makes me want to pull my hair out and the cisco expensive equipment and throw up some netgear/linksys/dlink home or soho router and be done with it.

What is the problem? Is it the filtering that makes it so slow at times? (I'm so thankful for the filtering that is in place but can this be done better?) Is it the 881's that have a limited number of addresses in the DHCP pool. (I know the old ASA's had a limit but this was suppose to have been solved with the 881) Why is there so much variablity in the experience that a member or leader can have in using the connection from day to day?

I'm sure the Church has a very good relationship with Cisco and should have very good support. The hardware is good and the connection is good but this is simply not translating into a good real life experience and is driving me crazy. The whole solution seems to simply be very very flacky. Why can we not get a reliable robust solution that can be replicated from building to building based on the internet connections that are available in that area. I know there are varaiables and the whole RF world is tough but we really can do a better job with this.

Members do not understand network talk all they understand is that when I turn on my laptop I can't get on the internet and then all of a sudden I can but then I try to stream something and it stops have way through the middle and the spirit is gone.

Leaders don't understand network talk or youtube hosted versus church server hosted but they do understand that it sure does work well at home but then I get to the church building and the mormon message is blocked. The leaders and members are yearning and wanting to use this technology to inspire, uplift, teach and proclaim. Lets make it happen :) We can do better.

I believe that more testing needs to be done in real life situations (meaning Sunday when members are using the connection) Just how fast of a connection is needed and is this worth the possible financial requirement? Just how many address are needed? (Does Cisco seriously charge for more ip address in the pool. We have to be able to negotiate that one. It seems like a joke now a days) What do we have to do to ensure that members can stream videos without buffereing or can we make the videos availabe for downlad ahead of time? (some videos you can download and some you can't based on if they are hosted by Youtude. Members response is ha, what, dazed view. This causes a ton of confusion is there anyway we can stardardize)

In conclusion...
I am so thankful for the resources that the church has put into technology and the influcene for good that it has. Some of the most powerful lessons I have taught have been augumented by technology and lives are being changed. I use LDS tools on my iphone probably every day. May we continue in this endevour and continually improve the members and leaders experience in using this technology. May the Lord bless us in this service.

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:05 pm

gregcamie wrote:My own test have shown that sometimes it can take up to 20 minutes before a simple DHCP address has been given out to a computer

You are probably running out if IP addresses. Call the Global Services Desk about getting some more.
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Postby Mikerowaved » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:45 pm

What happens when you run a speedtest when the building is empty? How does that compare to when it's full? Do you have physical access to your Comcast modem? I've got a high quality Motorola DOCSIS 3 cable modem and STILL find it needs to be reset a few times a year to regain peak DL speeds.
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Postby JamesAnderson » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:28 pm

One thing I saw at an FHC while updating LANDesk on a couple machines because the software portal would not load was that going through the Church servers it downloaded at 165kbps instead of the 600kbps plus that we had when downloading updates to FHC softwre like RootsMagic or Ancestral Quest or Family Insight recently. In fact, I found a machine that had not had the update to one of those and was able to get the 600kbps download rate he same night.

Also saw an odd could not find page message from Chrome where an embedded Youtube video on the site (how works) is normally placed on that page that should have thrown the blocked site message anyway. It showed the address as being the problem. Saw neither the video image or the blocked site message.

I doubt the speed problem has anything to do with Zscaler, that's the new filtering product, in fact, speeds are very much more consistent and fast with that in place than we ever had with Websense. The only time it's been sluggish is from general net congestion issues that can happen when a lot of people in a city are trying to do a lot of stuff at once. Church servers don't account for a lot of traffic compared to that anyway.

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Postby john84601 » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:56 pm

I would be curious to know how many users are connecting when you are having problems (I'm assuming this is Sunday?). Without access to the running config on the 881 :-( you would have to use a ping sweep utility to tell how many there are connected. I would recommend something like angryIP for windows or Fing for iOS.

A couple of possible issues.
1. Too many users on a particular WAP. More than about 20, and you'll start to have degraded performance.
2. Users using too much bandwidth. Many newer services are set to 'sync' when connected to WiFi. i.e. a user comes to church, his iPhone connects, and all the photos he's taken lately start to 'sync' via Photostream (etc...).

Just a theory, but i suspect mobile devices are causing everyone headaches. Members connect to LDSAccess once (if for no other reason than the novelty of it)... and then every time they come back in the building... their devices reconnect. Each of them using data.

Regardless, when the Church implements the LDS Sign On for WiFi access... it will eliminate the accidental use of data.

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Postby harddrive » Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:25 am

Well it looks like my post from yesterday didn't post. Oh well.

Greg, I have a question for you. do you have these problems with computers that are connected hard wire or just wireless?

The reason that I ask is because I had a Wireless access point that didn't like the connection to it. the client would connect, but not get an IP address or it was extremely slow as you indicate. Then when the computer did connect, the download was very slow. So I replaced the connection to the WAP and I haven't had a problem since.

The other item for everyone on this thread is that the 881w is the DHCP server and it does not need to go back to SLC to get it. Also, SLC has the ability to see the WAPS in a database there, so I would suggest calling them first to see how they are registered in the database. I'm thinking that this is a problem with WAPS and how they are communicating with the 881w.

Hope this helps.

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Postby johnshaw » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:09 am

I would suggest some operational investigation:

1. Eliminate whether it is IP Addressing related, typically 881W is configured with 9 static IP's and 53 DHCP addresses, the 1041N don't use an IP. Are your clerk computers and printers set in the static range? Some tweaks can help. If this turns out to be the issue, the GSC can add ranges to the 881W. When they do it is typically 53 Static (for whatever reason) and 196 DHCP addresses.

2. It is feasible that after determining IP Addressing is not the issue that a general mis-configuration can be a problem with your Firewall and/or Wireless Access Points. I would stress having the answers for #1 before going to #2.
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Postby harddrive » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:07 am

JohnShaw, your post was good, but you got this statement "the 1041N don't use an IP." totally wrong. Every piece of equipment on the network will get an IP address. That is how it knows where to send the packets. Since there is a database that maintains information on those devices they need to have an IP address so that the can be SNMP walked or queried.

but like you said, I really think he needs to determine if it is just a wireless problem or an over all issue. He can take the first part of the Internet being the issue by plugging directly into the cable modem and checking Internet connectivity and performance. Then he can slowly move backwards using hardwired first then checking the wireless.

He needs to determine where to focus his efforts to solve the problem.

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