Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
The Internet

Internet-Ready Houses For Sale 166

nilrake writes "A bit on NY Times talks about new homes are that being built Internet-Ready. " Hmm...I always figured a good drill, several hundred feet of cable and I had an Internet-ready house *grin*.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Internet-Ready Houses For Sale

Comments Filter:
  • I wonder how much bigger the home's price tag gets because some contractor calls it "internet ready" I certainly wouldnt buy a house based on the fact that it was already wired. I'd rather wire it myself, that way I know its done right, and if anything goes wrong, I'm able to fix it because I know what I did in the first place.
  • A few days ago when showing one of my apartments for rent, a potential tenant asked me if internet connection was included.

    I had thought it a stupid question at the time, but perhaps that is what is being demanded these days.
  • Lucent puts out a product called HomeStar that is what you are talking about. Essentially a Structured wiring kit for residential use. A patch panel that they recommend goes in the basement or garage, and then your choice of modular wall jacks. You can have 75 ohm standard cable-style coax, RJ-45, RJ-11 and RCA-style coax if I remember correctly. Pretty neat stuff, but not all that revolutionary.
  • Already last year some major construction companies here in Finland announced, that all new houses they build will be fitted with permanent Internet connections to every flat.

    As in the philosophy of taking the fiber to the cornerstone, the telcos are more than eager to offer their fiber & ISP-services to these new houses as a way of getting new customers easily and also getting an imago boost by beeing "on the bleeding edge" of the Internet society.

    As a sidenote, all the Helsinki area student appartments are to be wired also, afterwards.

    My 2c =)
  • This is a great idea. Microsoft House. Where you have to open a browser window to look in your filing cabinet, and when you flush the toilet it says "FLUSH32.DLL Damaged or Missing" and lets loose a tsunami of turds through the kitchen sink.

    The front door GPFs when you open it and the central heating system belches out methane gas and carbon monoxide for eight months until you buy the Service Pack, which causes the carpets to catch fire and the ceilings to drip a strange, gelatinous sludge.

    But the good thing is it does it at 10Gb/Sec.

  • Everyone is mentioning wired options, mostly cat5 and a few fiber comments--

    I wired my parent's house with cat5 7 years ago. A port in my bedroom, a port in my dad's office, a port on the kitchen counter for my mom's thinkpad. We strung the cable from basement to attic, in a southern colonial style home.

    Now that I'm thinking about my own place, and rental, not buying, as well as relocation being a possibility, I'm not prepared to enrage landlords and invest in tearing up wherever I land to make a network possible...

    I don't need gigabit bandwidth, especially for internet. Why doesn't the apple airport with a few lucent waveLAN cards meet the need here?

    I mean, HELL YES, I found it fun to take out the drill and string cable, and yes, it was cheaper than buying an airport and a few pcmcia and pci cards, but wireless is easily relocatable, as in, I don't have to leave my investment in the home installed when it's time to move on.

    (besides, I keep reading about the various hacks here, antenna range extension and 128-bit security-- who says slashdot doesn't read slashdot!)

  • My folks are just about to move into their 'new' house. It was built in 1820 and such bad repair had to be completely renovated. I was put in charge of getting the house 'wired'.

    The old bathroom upstairs was way too small, so they've used one of the bedrooms as a huge bathroom and the old bathroom has become the server room.

    I have 21 (RJ45) ports about the house wired up to a neat little 32 port patchpanel that comes in it's own wooden cabinet (rack mount is a bit overkill for a house don't you think). I used CAT 5 cabling, though I wish I'd gone for CAT 7. (Although it isn't ratified yet, it supports a bandwidth wide enough to take TV!!).

    The ports about the house are multipurpose: phone, internet, speakers and whatever else I can think of (but alas no tv).

    I have the phone line entering the house and going straight to a port on the patch panel. From there it can be split to any number of different ports (so you can have a phone in the bath if you want).

    I also plan to locate a hifi system in the server room with speakers plugged in wherever I see fit (great for parties!)

  • Hmmm... sounds fun. Oh, wait. I already do that. ;)

    In the words of Homer Simpson... "Mmmmm... beer."
  • Certainly home-buyers, especially us internet-savvy post-IPO-vested nouveau-riche, will decide which housing estate to look at based on positive reports about good connectivity. Housing developments that only offer AOL will soon find the money goes somewhere else.

    Unless you're buying down at Geek Estates, you'll
    always be subject to what the homeowners association decides is best for the community. As soon as Sammy Spammer moves in next door and the community finds itself RBLed, there will be some action taken and you probably won't like the results.

    I assume that the collective intelligence of a group is in inverse proportion to the size of the group. Thus it is practically guaranteed that the association will do something stupid in the future.

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • I had the great opportunity to wire up my fraternities houses when I was at college, and I gained quite a few insights from the process that will definitely help me when I build my first home.

    1. Wire every room. With big rooms, wire two places in the room.
    2. Use standard cabling. Cat5 for preference. Two or three 4-pair sets to each outlet should be plenty.
    3. Connections: I suggest using standard RJ45 connectors, because its easy and everything can be adapted to it. One thing we eventually did was to wire a cable to break a few pairs out to RCA audio plugs to send analog stereo signals through the house wiring. Why? Well, we wanted to hook the downstairs stereo to the upstairs computer. This ties in nicely to:
    4. Plugboards in the wiring closet. These are beautiful. Hook the phone lines to any room, easily.
    5. Don't count on the phone company being nice. One thing we did was inform the telco that we needed more line capability (24 line max). They installed a new large box outside that we wired onto our plugboard in the obvious manner. Result? Well, when they actually installed the new phone lines, they rewired their box for no obvious reason, such that we had to rip out and rewire that plugboard. Bastards.
    7. Hubs, switches, etc.. Get them when you need them, but be sure to leave space in your wiring closet. Also, be damn sure you have a power outlet in there on it's own grounded line. We didn't have one, and installing one after we'd put all this cat5 terminating in there was a real pain. And runnning a ground line is a real pain if your house isn't grounded properly already (most older buildings never are).

    Just my thoughts.
  • It's funny how people believe that an "Internet-ready" home involves something that it's a tie-breaker for a house. Just tell your builder to run cat 5 when he runs phone wire.

    Whoop-dee frickin' doo.

    I talked to a local builder about this that was under the impression that an unfinished basement would be a good place for a hub. I explained that most people wouldn't really want to run cabling all the way down there, least of all to a firewall box or something in a musty basement. This was a surprise to them.

    This post is going nowhere. I'm done.

  • I used 1/2" (id) ENT (electrical non-metallic tubing), aka smurf tubing, so-called because of its baby-blue color. Yeah, but if you run plenums, you need to use plenum-grade wire.
  • Don't bother putting up a page unless you can do better than Ars Technica's Physical Home Networking Guide [arstechnica.com].

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • That's damn amazing. You probably live less than 30 miles from me, which would explain why you know these guys' work so well.

    Not to say that all the contractors our here suck.
  • Water pipes are nothing, how about then gas lines? A friend drilled most of the way into one of them, got a real bad feeling, stopped and checked out what was slowing down the hole boring.

  • Somewhat related to this is the trend by lots of fascist homeowner's associations to ban even mini-satellite dishes (that could be used for internet access) where they are visible from the street. Interestingly, the FCC has set down rules thwapping the homeowner's associations, and freeing homeowners to put up dishes. The only thing protecting us is that most homeowner association directors are so hidebound and archaic, they probably don't deal with the internet much (at least, not in my association...bunch of cane-wielding nazis).
  • Which reminds me of one of the dumbest things I've ever seen: I saw a, swear to God, Interet-ready power strip at OfficeMax about a year ago.

    I've seen powerstrips that are "designed for Windows 95". That's when I learned about how Microsoft had embraced and extended AC power.

  • "I always figured a good drill, several hundred feet of cable and I had an Internet-ready house *grin*. "

    I wish :-( ... maybe it's cause my house it almost hitting the old 100 - lath and plaster do not make the quick&dirty - drill and pull some cable process anything close to easy - plus the wiring here is ancient, to say the least (grounding why would we want to do that - why waste the copper ...).

    Still when we had the shingles done a few years back and the house was 'naked' I had them put in a few extra circuits to my office - but running all those machines to get my rc5 rate up to 100MKeys/sec is starting to strain that :-(

    Seriously though the best thing you can do is at admit to yourself that you don't know what you'll need 5-10 years from now (fiber to every room? or after the Y2K.1 bug hits cans and string?) so just put conduit in the walls and figure it out when you need it

  • by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @09:04AM (#1045115) Homepage Journal
    For under $300 I was able to wire my entire house for 10/100 ethernet. The largest part of that bill was the ~$190 that I paid for the 10/100 switching hub.

    I have been thinking about throwing up a page documenting the process.

  • While it's great that they are running more hi-capacity cable through communitys and such, it seems kind of lame for a few reasons.
    1. DSL technology requires nothing but a pair of copper. Since you already have a pair of copper in your house, it's a moot point (if you are close enough to the CO)
    2. A residental T1, which I have though Intermedia (digex.net), only requires 2 pairs of copper. Of course this can't be the same as your primary telephone line (unless you are willing to be splitting up B channels and all). However, most houses built in the past 20 years have between 3 and 8 pairs of copper, meeting the needs of residental bandwidth.
    3. With cable systems, you are on a shared trunk using existing Coax cable. Unless the companies are trying to shrink the size of the trunk (which is a good idea) addional field equipment isn't necessary.
    4. Odds are, you aren't going to get an OC3 or greater to your house (even though I wouldn't mind having one :).

    So, this being said, what do you need at home? This depends on the service you want.
    1. For DSL or Cable service, you need a cable or DSL "modem" (modem is such a poor word...), a box to provide IP Masq since most Residental customers get one IP addy (dynamic at that), a hub and some good ole Cat 5.
    2. For Telco Lease Line customers like T1 type service, you need a DSU/CSU and a router with a HSSI port. From there, is the Hub and cable thing again. The benefit here is usually you get a routed network.

    Installing Cat5 in one's house is also reletively easy, especially if you cheat and use your existing phone wires to thread it (well, and new phone wire). Stick your server(s) in the basement to stay cool and plug it all on in.

    So, all you'd really ever want out of an "Internet Ready" house is a patch panel in the basement and a ether jack or two in every room of the house. Sounds simple enough for builders to do, especially since they can already deal with coax, electrical, and phone. How much harder can it be to run Cat-5 at the same time...

    If only they learned sooner. :)
  • All homes are "Internet-Ready". All you need is a phone line. Internal cabling is "networkable" or something.

    Which reminds me of one of the dumbest things I've ever seen: I saw a, swear to God, Interet-ready power strip at OfficeMax about a year ago.
    Have Exchange users? Want to run Linux? Can't afford OpenMail?
  • What i do like on the techie side of the net is the fact that it moves .... and it moves fast.
    If i would buy such house I'de have to move or upgrade the house more than once i a while. I'm sure "upgrading" the house to newer network technologies (IPV6 comes to mind)wont be has simple has apt-get update;apt-get upgrade.
  • The problem is that communications technologies will continue to improve and may require upgraded wiring. For example, a friend of mine paid to have his house wired with Cat5, cable (with central hub), multi-room stereo, etc.

    Since his house was built, the local cable acess provider has upgraded its system to support cable modems, but my friend's hub is too old for it. Gigabit ethernet requires either fibre or copper with a grade higher than category 5. Now, good home theater preamps support multi-room video as well as audio. He will need to upgrade his wiring anyway if he wants to take advantage of this new technology and his house is only a few years old.

    The problem exists because people tend to keep their houses longer than the cycle of obsolescence for computer components. As a result, even people who purchase these wired homes will have to pay large sums of money to upgrade their wiring if they want to stay on the cutting edge.
  • I hope the houses don't come with windoze installed... I'd hate to perform an illegal operation and have my house come crashing down around me.... Although I wonder if it would be possible to get the clouds in the sky to form a BSOD message......
  • I am a professional.
  • Yeah, I was going to wire my bathrooms too, but my wife nixed that.
  • This story shows a construction company that gets it. They are laying 2 conduits for fibre directly to each home in their estate, just like they now add connections for all the other utilities like electricity, gas, water and telephone. All that an internet provider has to do is lay a line out to this development, and tie into hundreds of waiting customers.

    And then the homeowners association votes to accept the bid from AOL to provide Internet Services. Doh!

    Anomalous: inconsistent with or deviating from what is usual, normal, or expected
  • I would not *want* a home that already had a broadband net connection; that would probably mean that my provider has already been picked out for me and that the cost of the house might have been offset by the fact that I would have to sign a x-year binding contract with said provider, otherwise, tack another $10k to the home cost (or something like that).
  • Hey...we could sell that as a kit. "Slashdot's Internet in a Box" :)
  • Why not ducktape the lines down then cover them with a mat. I use a cord protector I salvaged from work.

    People who have been in my apartment wonder why there is a carpet square between my A/V stack and coffee table. It's to cover the power and network lines. For those interested, my firewall box and web server [visi.com] reside in the A/V stack along with the TV, VCR and the stereo components. Maby I should start calling it my A/V/D (Audio / Video / Data) stack.

  • Cost me about $600 to terminate and test two runs of cat-5 in every room of my house [russnelson.com]. That counts jacks, and a 110 block at the other end. Total of 11 pairs of runs.

  • This reminds me of when I moved into the dorms at College...I was so happy that I was able to live in a place with built-in high speed connections! I know what type of house I'm going to buy!
  • Most of the articles have commented on inside wiring issues, be the article was really about outside wiring - providing reasonably large shared service in a neighborhood. It's an interesting concept, and the first I'd heard of it except for the cable modem business.

    But shared internet service for office buildings and apartment buildings is becoming a huge industry, just as wiring apartment buildings for cable TV and telephones is pretty universal. A typical building will use Cat5 or maybe fiber risers, and feed a T1 or maybe a smaller frame relay connection, and higher-tech office buildings may do larger connections. DSL turns out to work very well for large buildings - put a DSLAM in the basement, and use high-speed connections inside the building and whatever amount of upstream the building needs to buy.

    The question of who runs the infrastructure has a variety of answers. There are a number of companies like Allied Riser [alliedriser.com] that contract with real estate companies to get access to their customers. Alternatively, the real estate company may do it themeselves or hire somebody to do it. Phone companies and Alternate Access Vendors like Worldcom's MFS and Brooks and AT&T's AT&T Local Services put fiber in large building basements. Cable TV company Hybrid Fiber Coax is also providing similar access. (And a couple friends of mine strung their own Ethernet in a Palo Alto apartment complex a decade ago - several members of their startup were living there :-) Overall, it's starting to resemble the Hosting Center business, where some companies run the real estate, rack space, and network feeds, some companies rent computers in the racks, some provide web hosting services on computers rented in the racks, some ISPs provide additional network feeds, and everybody overlaps.

  • I seem to be questioning whether it is up to code or not. Does anyone have a good idea as to what it takes to be up to code for running Cat-5 in a residential home? I would hate to go to sell the house and have to tear out all of the ethernet!
  • by Russ Nelson ( 33911 ) <slashdot@russnelson.com> on Friday May 26, 2000 @10:29AM (#1045131) Homepage
    Run conduit. I ran some, but not enough. I should have run it to every room.
  • I've run cable to every room, I have several RJ11 phone jacks, several cable jacks, firewire, speaker, and RJ45 ethernet jacks in every room in my house. The price to do that during the construction of the house is negligible. Wonder why it's taken until now for home designers to start doing that?
  • by BilldaCat ( 19181 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @08:49AM (#1045133) Homepage
    so I guess when they say Internet-Ready, they make up the cost of running cable and stuff by not installing windows, right? I mean, who needs to look at this thing that's called the "outside"?
  • by PopeAlien ( 164869 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @08:49AM (#1045134) Homepage Journal
    .. The obligitory link without login [nytimes.com]
  • Haha. My apartment building (late 1800's / early 1900's) is absolutely gorgeous, but doesn't have grounded outlets, and I can't even get ISDN there, let alone broadband. That's OK cause I'm moving in 5 days, one of the reasons being so I can get ADSL.

    If I were anywhere near St. Louis I'd be down with it, but I'm not.
  • Well, just putting the structured cabling in the house isn't particularly newsworthy. And a house having structured cabling isn't going to make that much of a difference at resale...it's quick and cheap for alarm companies to wire a house, and adding data cable isn't much different.

    The news part of this is the fact that builders are fronting the money for the infrastructure to the house, and actually acting as a service provider.

    And if you watch shows like "This Old House", nearly all of the recent jobs have included CAT5 lines throughout, as well as open conduit for future use.
  • 500' spool of cable - $68
    SOHO cable set (crimper, tester, rj-45's, punch down tool, booties) - $110
    Tie wraps and glue clips - $6
    Beer to convince friends to help - $24
    The ability to surf porn and IRC from your room - Priceless

    When the wireless solution you bought doesn't work with Linux, there's always Mastercard.

    (Sorry, just did this project last week. `8r) )

    Gonzo Granzeau

  • This kind of thing is going to be a really big hit, especially for renters. It's way too much bother trying to get your own high speed internet connection. It can take so long that you don't get the connection til you move out.

    I once had a DSL connection at my last place. I moved - still only 4000 feet from the central office. The problem is that US West can't figure out how to get a pair of copper wires into my apartment from the telephone pole. Really. By the time I get it installed (I've been waiting 8 months now) I will have already moved out to some other place. And almost every DSL provider has a 1 year contract. Ouch! :o

  • IF you don't have a username or password on NY times (i know i'm too lazy to get one), you could always go here and get it-

    http://p artners.nytimes.com/library/tech/00/05/biztech/art icles/26build.html [nytimes.com]

  • Bring something like the airport, already configured with the broadband line (whichever line you support), and have a bunch of relays throughout your home (depending on how big your house is and where structural items will interfere with the signal).

    Actually, in about one or two years, I fully expect to be using my WebPad as I drink a cafe' latte' on my deck, thanking Linus for his latest contrib to mobile Linux, and telling my son to remember to dock his GameServer when he's finished playing with it so that it can recharge.

    But could we make a Beowulf cluster out of such devices ... ?

  • IANA Inspector, and the codes change from town to town, nevermind country to country, but AFAIK, there are two different, widely used types of Cat-5, and the differences are fire ratings. I'm sorry, I can't remember the rating numbers, but one is for normal use (how most of us probably use it, along the floor, patch cables, through normal walls), and the other is specifically for suspended ceilings, and stuff like that.

    My father (carpenter, jack of all trades for decades), recently torn down and rebuilt the family home, and we put in 4 Ethernet jacks (office, spare bedroom, 2 in living room) as he was doing the construction. We just used a box of "normal" CAT-5, and it passed electrical inspection without even a blink of the eye.



    This is my .sig. It isn't very big.
  • by coreybrenner ( 19101 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @09:10AM (#1045142)
    I've jumped into a project that might be of some interest to some folks here.

    I've recently purchased and begun renovating a 114+ year-old house in North St. Louis. The neighborhood is pretty run-down, but it is going to come back to life in the next few years (I'll make sure it does). The house is about 4000 ft^2, and cost me $4,500. It's an all-brick structure, but in need of a complete replumbing, rewiring, and refinishing inside. The windows are boarded up, etc.

    The place is gorgeous, though. It has big, nice wide woodwork, a spiral staircase, balcony porches, and a big, big room in the attic that will be my lab (I even have computer-room flooring to put in it now... :).

    What I'd be interested in are opinions here, and maybe leads to more information - are there other geeks out there who, like me, love beautiful old houses and unique architecture, who can (and are eager to learn how to) remodel houses, and who would like to participate in a NAN (neighborhood area network - did I coin a new term?) with perhaps a shared fat-pipe to the Internet?

    I'd like to be able to get together a partnership with a/some telecomm company who'd like to score a big PR coup, and to accelerate the rejuvenation of this beautiful neighborhood.

    Will geeks move buy and move in if such an opportunity arose?

  • Dman33 wrote:
    I seem to be questioning whether it is up to code or not. Does anyone have a good idea as to what it takes to be up to code for running Cat-5 in a residential home? I would hate to go to sell the house and have to tear out all of the ethernet!

    I'm not someone who would know, (a local builder or cabling contractor would have the straight skinny or you might contact the permit issuers in whatever principality you live in,) but my guess would be that low-voltage (telephone, LAN, burglar alarm, and whatnot) cabling is not regulated when it is installed in private residences. It is my understanding that, at least around here (Houston, TX) you need to use plenum cable in commercial buildings, but I've never heard anything about the regulation of networking cable in a private home. In any case, it is the general contractor's job to make sure that the house will pass inspection.

    The difference between plenum cable and PVC jacketed cable is that plenum cable doesn't give off as much toxic smoke when it burns as PVC cable does when it burns. That means that it's safer to use plenum cable in the plenums (plena? the area between the suspended ceiling and the actual roof) in commercial buildings which are usually used as warm air return for the air conditioning. Since air in a plenum is conditioned and distributed throughout the building, toxic smoke in there is to be avoided.

    If it's your house, you may want to specify that the cable in plenum cable. I certainly would, but then I'm widely known as an odd individual.

  • And when you suggest this to your contractor they will laugh at you. You wouldn't believe how many disasters I've seen because the owner thought they could do a better job than a professional.
  • The Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers are already around, and it's pretty typical for phone company craft workers to belong to one of them, take advantage of their training and apprenticeship programs, etc. Non-union electrical contractors also do a lot of this sort of installation.
  • Why not ducktape the lines down then cover them with a mat. I use a cord protector I salvaged from work.

    Hardwood floors and duct tape don't exactly get along well.

    When you pull the tape up, it leaves waffled goo all over the contact area, and, well, our landlord doesn't like that too much...
  • Wiring for networking is covered by the National Electical Code (NEC). Mainly for purposes of busisness instalations.

    There are a few AskSlashdot's on home network wiring. Just do a search.

    As for guidelines: I'd do all cable runs using conduit just as if one was going to be installing regular electrical lines in them. It's just they lead to the network hub room instead of the fuse box. This way if you need to upgrade wiring at a latter date you can pull out the old wires and string new ones. If your wondering how to run the conduits, read that section in the NEC code book. The copy I have is a '96, the '99 book is out and available from many major book stores. As for where to place boxes and conduit lines. I recommend one per wall in each room. Plastic conduit is cheep. String the wires latter if and when you need them.

  • Welcome to the 21st Century....
    Be sure to grab your Solar- Powered Flashlight [mboffin.com] on the way in!

    Pablo Nevares, "the freshmaker".
  • No, both in combination is best.

    I envision desktop (and despit the hype, most people will do most of there work as a desk just because it is so convient) with wired access. anytime you move you get the portable (laptop or palm I don't care) and it will be wireless. wired has no bandwidth limitations, doesn't get over crowded with neighbors... wireless allows you to put the instructions on rebuilding your engine under the shade tree next to the car.

    Both are useful, and so long as people use wired where it is possibla and leave wireless to those situations where wired is impractical things will work well.

  • For under $300 I was able to wire my entire house for 10/100 ethernet. The largest part of that bill was the ~$190 that I paid for the 10/100 switching hub.

    I'm currently in the process of wiring my house; I'm doing two coax outlets and 9 cat5 RJ45 outlets per room. I recently did the calculations..at 9 rooms, this is going to come out to a little over a mile of wire in the house.

    The cost came out to around $1000 for the wire, and about $500-$1000 (I can't remember exactly) for the jacks and patch panel.

    The wiring all home runs to a closet which contains a rack, the servers, and a 40 port 10/100 switch. I'm also in the process of installing some extra circuits in that closet, as well as an air conditioning unit.

    I figure this will do me fairly well; there are products that let you send KVM, audio, video, etc. all over Cat5 twisted pair, so I should be *fairly* future proof.

    I'm running 3 sets of speaker wire (12/3 romex is beautiful for this) between the stereo room and the bathroom, backyard, and jacuzzi in addition to all the data wire, and am in the process of upgrading the electrical system, too. It's fun, plus I can hook up to the internet in any room, and it raises the value of my home.

    I'm probably a bit atypical, but I don't ever want to have to do this again -- some walls were a bitch to get wires through (mostly outside walls, but I wanted the jacks where they were). At some point I'll take pictures of it all and throw it up on the web somewhere, but right now it's still In Progress.

  • If you are going to spend the money, you should also have all automatic sliding doors that go "shhht" when they open and shut.

    Oh yea, and if your house could travel through time, that would be cool too.

  • I've looked at a couple of "internet ready" homes in the last couple of years. The houses were wired internally with cat5 cable and a small ISDN router, but there was no permanent broadband connection to the internet. That is not "internet ready" by my standards.

    This story shows a construction company that gets it. They are laying 2 conduits for fibre directly to each home in their estate, just like they now add connections for all the other utilities like electricity, gas, water and telephone. All that an internet provider has to do is lay a line out to this development, and tie into hundreds of waiting customers.

    I'd really like to see housing estates with a clued-in homeowners association running their own router for the area. Then different ISPs would be invited to connect to the estate's POP, and each homeowner could choose their provider and switch between them depending on service and price. The estate could then run fibre to neighboring estate POPs and run local routing which wouldn't need to traverse an ISP, a true Metropolitan Area Network. Since the fibre would have a lot of unused bandwidth (except to my house), they could re-sell the bandwidth to local businesses and cut out the phone companies completely.

    Aaaahhhhh, but I'm dreaming of a distant utopia :-)

    the AC

    [ for those who are building an internet ready house, where I live there are 7 routers, 100baseT running to all rooms in the house, with DSL, cable, ISDN, and wireless connections to several different ISPs in the area. Beat that :-]
  • We just bought our new house last August outside of Dallas. We started the process in Feb. 99 -- 6 month build time -- and the "Home Networking" package was available then. We had them install full CAT-5 cabling hooked to a switching hub located in the master bedroom closet. Additionally, all phone jacks are CAT 5 enabled hooked to a nifty little patch panel in the closet too. The cable TV lines are ALSO centrally located in the same panel and then dispersed out from the house from there. It wasn't that much of a cost -- $500 or so. The hub had the uplink port for hooking in the cable modem, which also sits in the closet with a dedicated coax line hooked to it. We can't DSL YET where I am (I was 800 FT 'too far' for SBC to hook it up) -- it'd be the same setup then, just a different cable into the uplink. I guess our house was pretty much "Internet Ready" then. In my view the story was only about 1 year and half late.
  • Amazingly enough, this is pretty much how it has worked in England for many years. The mail carrier walks from house to house (with a big sack or cart), dropping mail through a slot in the door or wall. Of course, it's generally not a large slot, so packages of any size still require someone at home to receive them, but even so... The same slot can be used by FedEx, &c, for deliveries that actually fit into it.

    Keyword big. The computer's I've received have generally been in large packages, maybe 1m x 1m x .3 m, a little big to fit in a slot.

    Also, in the US, our mailboxes are the property of the US government, bad things would happen if a FedEx employee used a USPS mailbox.

    Now some UPS and FedEx employees will leave a small package between the storm door and the front door, but that makes me uneasy when the contents of the package are over $50.

  • Is it really such a novelty to have a home built for internet access? I can't imagine why any developer woudln't build homes this way.

    This also seems more true to the architecture of the internet, the "network of networks". Instead of trying to establish a high speed connection to the centralized, monolithic phone company, just plug in to your neighborhood LAN.

    Only problem is you lose the freedom to choose your ISP. If you live on a street with lots of over protective parents who demand content filtering or if the people running the connection are just incompetent, tough luck.

  • ...at the house I lived in with 9 other people and about 8 computers (at college of course), our RJ-45 wires ran outside the house; from the basement windows to the 3rd-floor attic windows, cascading down the central staircase and out the front door, jumping from window to window on the outside, and so forth. (If anyone has been to Virginia Tech, you should know that this was the infamous 205 Kent Street.) And one guy who lived there had 2 ISDN lines and a 3rd phone line installed (for his job), which didn't make things any prettier on the outside, not to mention the couches on the lawn, destroyed bicycle chassis's, car axles, and more cigarette butts than dandelions.

    Of course the Town of Blacksburg complained incessantly, but nobody had time to rewire the house--not with 1 to 3 shows (w/ 3-5 live bands each) going on in our living room each week. Man, we played all sorts of network games in the most chaotic, overcrowded, noisy, dirty, smelly, filthy conditions you'd never care to see in your life. I remember waking up in the "server room" (in which the 56k modem connection was shared) one morning after a party, drinker floaters and starting to play networked Syndicate Wars and choking on a cigarette butt while several members of some band I'd never heard of from Oregon dozed on the floor with coils of ethernet and serial cables draped around them.

    So if you really really want that geek look, run your wires on the outside! But I wouldn't recommend trying to raise a family there.

  • Sister just moved into a new Aprtment in Allen, TX that was pre-wired for DSL. Her apartment manager bills her the extra $29.95 a month for the connection to be live. So, yes, it is available.
  • >by not installing windows,
    well Windows is internet ready, at least since Win95b. :-)

    Devil Ducky
  • I live in a new townhome development that has high-speed Ethernet in every room. Ooooooh, cool.

    EXCEPT, the nearest DSL station is over 19,000 feet away, so we have to pay $80/mo. for a 202k bridge connection. Double that for a router connection.

    So, if me *and* my roommate want to share the DSL, we have to have a separate box to route to our two other computers. Or, one of us gets cable (yeah, like my Mac can spare the PCI slots for the separate NIC).

    Wonderful. Great cart, crappy horse?
  • Just wanted to point that out.

    Hey, it's a small town, and I'm easily amused. Give me a break.
  • I've seen alot of advertisments regarding new homes over on the eastside that are network and possibly internet ready. I bought a home in Issaquah, WA a few years back and had it wired for a home network. It was an easy change for the builder since they were already running CAT-5 wire for the phone lines within the house so what's a few more cable runs.

    The thing that was missing was a high-speed internet connection. Neither DSL or Cable was available at the time (2 years ago)and so I simply setup a gateway firewall system that used diald and we were able to share a dynamic modem connection among multiple systems within our home.

    Our situation improved greatly about 3 months ago as I found out that @Home cable modem service was available in our neighborhood. It's so nice to be able to download large files and have it take only a few minutes rather than hours. @Home isn't perfect and has it's ups and downs sometimes but my home is 21,000+ feet from our CO and so the only DSL technology that might be available to us is IDSL. IDSL has the same bandwidth as an ISDN connection and costs much more than ADSL service so I have to be content with a cable modem connection.

    @Home didn't give me any hassles about using Linux and the tech thought it was pretty cool as I was the first customer he had seen using Linux. He watched over my shoulder has I setup my second ethernet card on my SuSE Linux based gateway/ firewall system. The big shocker for him was that I didn't even have to reboot the box to enable the second network card.
  • I use Ortronics jacks for termination, but there are at least a dozen brands. Check out the Graybar catalog (their online catalog sucks).

    a) Category 5 cabling, pick your color. Comes in 1000 ft boxes. Also, if you will be running the cable in ductwork (such as return air or hot air ducts), building code may require that you use Plenum cable, which is about twice as expensive. Don't laugh, apparently it's fire resistant and smokes less.

    b) Jacks. I use Ortronics Series II modules, which has RJ11, RJ45, Coax, Fiber, S-Video and a boatload of other options (see http://www.ortronics.com/ product_main/workstation/21.html [ortronics.com])

    c) A patch panel. Again, Ortronics and many other companies make them, and you don't have use the same brand as the jack ends (as long as they have the same standard pinouts).

    That's really all of the supplies. As far as tools, diagonal cutters for the cable and a punch-down tool for termination. And a drill, etc. for the house.

    I bought a CHEAP 8-port 10Base-T hub over a year ago for $37 from CDW, now you can get a 10/100 8-port hub for $90. Depends on what you want--but I suggest 10/100 NICs so that you can upgrade cheaply in the future. No reason not to.

  • I definitely would buy and move in since I am in the St. Louis area. Within a few years i'd love to buy my own house, and at $4,500, what a deal :) You probably have to put a lot of work into it though, eh?
  • American Furniture Warehouse was advertising an "Internet Computer Desk" recently. I guess it had a hole in the back for cat5/phonecable or something.
  • Hey, who would like to participate in a NAN (neighborhood area network - did I coin a new term?) with perhaps a shared fat-pipe to the Internet? That would be an interesting idea... The only problem I can see is with power phases. If different buildings are on different power phases, this sometimes buggers up wired 100Mbps ethernet. This leaves radio (Slow, short range) and putting in fibre-optics (Expensive). If wired ethernet gives you a problem*, I'd go for fibre-optics, but I have 100Mbps ethernet around my house. Will geeks move buy and move in if such an opportunity arose? If I ever move to the US, I'll have a look at your area. Living in a neighbourhood with other nerds could be cool (But then personal organisers seem cool until you realise you have to spend hours programming in your appointments), if it had a friendly atmosphere... living in a street where people could pool computer gear and knowledge easily could get really nice. Michael *I think the power phases are different over in America
  • You might want to consider something that we did. When we had to run new phone wires to work with the DSL we were bringing in. ALL phone lines have been replaced with CAT5 Plenum in the basement everything is routed through a patch panel. Using a patch cord I can in an instant change a phone jack into a network jack. You have to get the special jacks that will accept both a RJ45 and a telephone plug. They are about $2.75 each but it is nice to be able to hook up a computer or a phone wherever you need them. Also the DSL is routed to the entire network. Sophone wire splits 5 ways takes up 5 slots in patch panel. Each wall socket routes into a slot in patch panel. Network Switch mounted into homemade rack under patch panel. DSL plugs directly into Switch to make any particular wall jack a Phone or a Network jack just plug a patch cord into jack. It is a little more work but totally flexible. Just my .002
  • What are the general zoning laws for this kind of stuff? I know that if I were to build a house today, I would insist each room have a twisted pair jack somewhere but is there a possible zoning specification to be worried about?
  • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
    As if HOA's weren't bad enough!

    How long before home builders/developers and content providers merge?

    I can just imagine an AOL/Time Warner/Kaufman & Broad combo in the future...

    Talk about a captive audience...
  • The first phase of internet ready homes just have to market the fact they have a connection.

    The next phase of internet ready communities will have to differentiate themselves by allowing several choices of connection, or perhaps just route to a regional tier 2 carrier with no filtering or firewalling. Or to be family friendly, offer a choice of a raw pipe or tie the connection to the community firewall/filter system.

    There were several companies mentioned in the article who are jumping into the market to run the connections for these housing estates. It certainly sounds like a niche market for some smart people. I hope they are smart enough to offer more than just AOL, @HOME, and some other lame pseudo-internet connections. Certainly home-buyers, especially us internet-savvy post-IPO-vested nouveau-riche, will decide which housing estate to look at based on positive reports about good connectivity. Housing developments that only offer AOL will soon find the money goes somewhere else.

    the AC
  • Curious. How much would one of these houses cost? [grin] :)

  • God, it's good to live in a state with the 3rd lowest cost of living. My house is in a highly desirable part of a highly desirable city (on a cul-de-sac to boot) and has your pick of cable or DSL and cost less than $80,000 . . .
  • When I went house-hunting, I certainly checked on whether or not a house was DSL-ready and cable modem-ready. One house that I liked was snapped up in days, and they advertised that they had full DSL service.

    When I put my house on the market, one of the selling points was that it was both DSL and cable-ready, and that it already had working DSL (1.44) and digital cable at the moment.

    And the townhouse I bought, I checked to be sure it was in a service area for DSL - apparently, in Fremont, Center of the Universe (part of Seattle), up to half of all home buyers are techies or graphics artists, so this is a big deal.

  • What kind of a house has all the network wires run in the walls? That takes all the fun out of having wire runs along the ceilings and the floors! It totally ruins the nerd look.

  • Given the OS preferences of the average /. user, it took me a while to figure out why "not installing windows" was supposed to be a Bad Thing.

    Has anyone tried porting Linux to a brick-and-mortar architecture?
  • by PopeAlien ( 164869 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @08:56AM (#1045211) Homepage Journal
    I'm actually a bit suprised that this is 'newsworthy'.. I would think that by now a lot of homes should be built with some sort of consideration toward a high speed connection - apparently this is not the case.

    According to Jo Chapman, director of surveys at the National Association of Home Builders, only 5 percent of new homes come with "structured" wiring, the fatter in-home pipe needed to get the most from broadband service.

    And just how 'fat' are those pipes anyways? I always thought that if I built a house I would do the basic ethernet cabling, but I would also put in some sort of open-ducting in the walls so that 'fatter' cable for other purposes could be run from room to room fairly simply in the future.
  • by dublin ( 31215 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @02:18PM (#1045215) Homepage
    We typically run 1-CAT3, 2-CAT5, & 1-Coax drops in each bedroom, living space, study, etc. This has been done to over 1/2 the houses we've built in the last 3 years.

    FWIW, I'm remodeling my 10-year-old home now (not worn out, but it suffered from terminal architectural boredom), and I used to be a telecom consultant making recommendations right down to the wiring, so here are my general recommendations:

    First, I'm cheap, so I only want to spend money where I'm fairly certain I'll get it back. You can pull fiber everywhere, but then you'll choke at the cost of network electronics (priced optical hubs lately?), and you still won't have the right type or grade 20 years from now and will pay a premium to deal with weird media. You have *no* idea how much really expensive cable I've seen abandoned in place just because someone decided "we might use it someday".

    What to pull: The most I could justify is two jackets (w/ 4 pair ea.) of Cat-5 to each location. This is enough to still let you keep analog and digital in separate jackets and you still have plenty of pairs left over for future use. (For instance, in the digital jacket you'd use just half the pairs for 10 or 100 Ethernet, and in the analog jacket you could have two phone lines, the cable, and still another unused analog pair - that's probably plenty.) Try to keep analog and digital in separate jackets, and remember that although the phone loop itself is 48V max, the ring signal is a 90V square wave. If you're still paranoid and have money to burn, pull a third jacket, but I bet you'll never use it.

    How to Pull It: This is one of the most important considerations. When doing my remodeling, I took advantage of a leftover triangular space to put a storage niche and wiring center. You want to "home run" everything, that is, everything is a star topology running from the outlet to your wiring closet. You may need more or less space depending on what's going to be located there. Although your first inclination is to put your servers, etc, there, you might later find this is inconvenient. I have one rule that works for me: If it can't hang on the wall (there's a sheet of plywood there to act as a substrate), it doesn't go in the wiring closet. Consider ventilation and power requirements, especially if you want many computers there. This is the one reason I'm a fanatic about low power machines for server use (I use a Laptop and a "cash register computer" for my Linux servers): I hate paying for all the KW-hrs big servers burn, and I also don't want to have to worry about special A/C or power requirements. Remember the trend is for things to become much lower-power, so skipping the dedicated 30A circuit and A/C duct should be fine. Hard conduit, whether steel or PVC is quite expensive and is not required by code in most places, so avoid it if you can. It can make pulling things later much easier, but if there's much "snakiness" in the run you'll usually wind up using whatever was already in there as your pull-cord for the new stuff, anyway. Electrical and building supply places sell a blue corrugated flexible conduit commonly called "smurf tube" that can be great for getting through the tough spots or as a tough sleeve when for instance, crossing through metal studs. Just keep in mind before you start that it's *much* easier to pull wire in new construction before all the walls, cielings and floors are there than aftterwards. You can spend all day failing to get wire into some places if you're not realistic about your experience level.

    Cable Wiring: Some purists may disagree, but the frequency response and noise immunity of good Cat5 cable is so impressive that I really don't think there's any need to go to the trouble (and considerable expense) of pulling coax any more. Use balun transformers instead - you can even buy them integrated into F-connectors now, so your coax gear plus right in.

    Termination: This is where things can get expensive, especially if you go with the slick looking prepackaged wiring boxes like they're putting in the new homes. In reality, most of them are just way overpriced 110 blocks, RJ jacks and cable splitters. Again, if you've got money to burn, you can go that route. The home automation guys have this stuff (try smarthome.com, worthdist.com, and homecontrols.com), but I really don't recommend it because in addition to expense, the box itself my limit you before long. I prefer to simply terminate all the wires into RJ-45s and then patch them into whatever is needed. On that subject, I recommend the EIA/TIA T568A terminations, as they're the most common. (You can use T568B if you plan on any AT&T phone gear.) Leviton has some great low cost 8 and 16 jack surface mount termination boxes (what I use instead of the expensive fancy deals), and they use the same little plug-in adapters (RJ-45, RJ-11, F-type balun, etc.) that fit in the really slick little Leviton faceplates. (I've seen these with from two to eight positions for a single gang box, which should be plenty. They're available at Lowe's, Home Depot and the like these days for less than the specialty places.)

    Hope this helps. Now if there were just an easy way to add speaker wires!
  • My builder didn't want to do it. I'm bringing in another electrician to help me meet specs and running them myself during Rough-In.

    My basement has 9' ceilings and a good portion of it will be my office, within it will be a computer/electrical room(raised flooring, etc.). All incoming lines (phone, power, cable) will terminate in there. I'm home-running from the basement up two floors and into the attic.

    As much fun as this sounds, I wish the damn builder would help out a little more.

    Anybody know where I can learn to terminate fiber on-line?

  • by Sunlighter ( 177996 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @09:31AM (#1045217)

    I just bought a condo and luckily it didn't come with internet access. It did come with a covenant that says the outsides of my curtains have to be white and that I can't run a business out of my home, although according to one of the two agreements I signed, I can have a home office. Can I run a web server out of my home? Is that a business? The other agreement says nothing about business one way or another. (I also can't own "exotic pets" such as an iguana or a peacock. Oh, well.)

    My covenant really isn't so bad, or I wouldn't have signed it. But I know that covenants can decrease the value of a home. Ask anyone who's ever been unpopular with the homeowners' association.

    Oooo, and they got us now. Next thing you know, when your house comes with internet access, you'll be signing a covenant that says that, for as long as you live there, you won't buy internet access from anybody else, and that you won't run a server, and that you won't download porn (porn being defined as anything your seller considers objectionable, such as ads for his competitors), or allow people to download WAV files that you recorded of your own music because they take up too much bandwidth, or... or... [shudder!]

    In a country where the bill of rights probably wouldn't survive a constitutional convention (it never did when we had mock conventions in high school), what do you think happens when the people vote in homeowners' associations?

    You better read those covenants damned carefully!

  • IANAL, but I think you can do whatever you want; the intent of zoning laws is not to quibble over what kind of wiring you have in your house, it's to keep you from turning your house into a shopping mall. Why, if we didn't have zoning laws, a city might have a house next to a factory next to a church next to a school next to a skyscraper next to an amusement park, and <SARCASM> we wouldn't want that, would we? Everything within walking distance, so that people wouldn't have to drive, and get stuck in the ever-increasing amounts of traffic? Hell, no! </SARCASM>

    -- Sunlighter

  • Just be sure you know where the water pipes are before you start drilling.
    Don't ask me why I mention this; I don't want to talk about it.
  • Every room in my house has two runs of cat-5 to it, one for telephone, one for Ethernet. I've got five runs of conduit so I can run fiber-optic cable later. And I've got 18 pair of telephone drops, of which I'm using five. If I was going to do it again, I would have just run conduit to every room:
    • I wouldn't have had to buy the expensive jacks.
    • I wouldn't have had to worry about the cat5 getting damaged.
    • The material goods would have been cheaper.
  • 4 line voice-only is nice for home-office people (main, business, fax, teenage daughter). It doesn't tie up any data lines and doesn't need to be CAT5 quality.

    If voice over IP ever becomes a common reality we will drop it completely. Right now we just try to build a system that's flexible and open to growth.

  • Considering yon embollence, I deny you the right to grant yourself an ulterior lifer like that. If you were I, as beautiful and as rich as I, yon unharboured wrenched \ escuse me

    As we were contemplating, yon unharbingered wrenches would become as noble as yer mastrers and such as I / I measn we / would incorporate the best of thy ]]

    Noi'm, s0o sorry, but you don't so we just can't (CAN'T CAN'T) do that the way we'd want to inundate. We don't read inunjader mag anymore, I suggest you getg rid of them as well. Think about "this is what I am thinking about" if "that is what you are thinking about" is what you are thinking about //ugh recapitulate

    Consequently, leave us alone to our slashlist-friendliness because:

    1., It incorporates everyone's favorites games, and makes for easy replies, as follows:

    I don't think so
    Ha! You woudln't at all, WOULD YOU, yon gun-toting liberalfoot! I hate your mother's! Fool. d

    2., Misquoting for the plagie = FUN.

    (To the mods. If I am not a doopity dork, I don't know what is)
    Haha, but you are! Haha, haha, yon, loony non doopity fool@mictrosoft.com!

    3., And misunderstaing!

    I have enough bandwith to DoS you and still Napster Metallica songs.
    I don't use DOS anymore, haha, because we yes haave gotten iover it, and are not still i.


    Thank you for my incompeteredzs,
    zeusjr, who is and was and might be for awhile
  • They should have taken the whole idea one step further, and just like central air, they should have had a centrally located wireless web router.

    Bring something like the airport, already configured with the broadband line (whichever line you support), and have a bunch of relays throughout your home (depending on how big your house is and where structural items will interfere with the signal).

    Now THAT would be an Internet-Ready house. It's simply not good enough if you're still restricted to attaching your computer to the wall. The computer wants to be free...

    Just imagine, barbecuing outside while surfing the internet, beer in hand, on a beautiful Memorial Day weekend.
  • Friend of mine had his house built about 3 or so years ago. While it was still in the frame stages he invited us all over to string CAT5 thru the rafter so that he'd have net in every room (except bathrooms, but he did have it in the kitchen). While we were up there we also strung stereo wire.

    I'm pretty sure he only has terminals in 2 rooms, though. :)


  • I have 4 roommates.

    Our guests often find it odd that we have a mat in the middle of the hallway, between my room and one of my roommates'. That is, until they see the cables running from both sides, under our doors (-:
  • by Sick Boy ( 5293 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @08:59AM (#1045237) Homepage
    New! Improved! Internet Ready Homes!

    New Sheistman Homes now come with phone jacks in almost 4 full rooms! Also, as a welcome gift, we supply you lucky home buyers with a "10 Free Hours" AOL cd! Now how much would you pay? BUT WAIT! There's more!

    Along with the AOL cd comes a FREE top of the line, state of the art, and other assorted buzzwords, WinModem! <font face="flyspeck 3 lawyerese">(a $1.50 value. Installation and phone cords extra)</font>

    All this and more, in your new Sheistman Home!
    Operators are standing by.
  • Wonder why it's taken until now for home designers to start doing that?

    I don't know, but I was quite dissapointed when I moved into my new place. It had just been completely renovated, and I figured that since most of the people renting in my area would be college students, wiring a couple lines of CAT5 into each bedroom would be a wise decision. Sadly, they didn't even put in conduit when they installed the phone and cable lines.

    That's a serious pain in the ass, since my housemates and I had been planning on sharing a DSL line. I guess I'll have to go buy a drill, now... :/
  • I know a guy who loved the fiber connections, all the way from the university server right up to the dorm's hallway router. Loved 'em so much that a few months after he moved out into an apartment, he cancelled the lease and moved back into the dorms. Stayed there until he graduated.

    It's definitely one big advantage over the typical residence... that and the 18-year-old girls in spring were my two big joys during my college days. :-)
  • by xeno ( 2667 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @03:44PM (#1045244)
    "...a good drill, several hundred feet of cable and I had an Internet-ready house."

    Yep. I'm in my second house, fully "internet-ready" even tho it's a 1919 woodframe monolith. When remodeling the bathroom (walls & ceiling out), we took the opportunity to run several strands of cat5 from the basement to the second floor, install segmentable hubs, and provide ethernet jacks at most of the phone jacks. It was even easier in my old house (a quaint 1909 shoebox), where the panel upgrade to 200a was the perfect opportunity to put in isolated system power, hi-grade power filtering, and ethernet everywhere. It really ain't that hard.

    Here's a tip: Go to Home Despot/Eagle/Lowe's or whatever well-stocked DIY store you can find, and buy the 5-foot long drillbit in the electrical section. It seems goofy, but it's a fantastic thing for retrofit wiring. Take it into your basement, and use it to drill up thru the 1st floor into the wall. If there is no opening in the wall (switchplate), use the 5-foot extension bit to keep drilling until you hit the 2nd floor/attic. Now you need a second person to hold the drill in place, with the bit poking up two floors above you. Go upstairs and grab a hold of the end of the bit (in the attic or thru an access/outlet hole). Notice that the bit has a small hole in the blade. Thread the wire thru the hole, and use the bit to pull the wire back down to the basement. Drill, pull. Drill, pull. Repeat as needed, pulling each wire back to a central point in the basement. A few rj45 crimps and staples later, add a hub or two connected to your dsl/cable/isdn/pots device, and you are the proud owner of an internet-ready house.

    That one silly piece of metal with a hole in it makes the job tremendously easier. And besides, (a) it's an excuse to buy new tools [drillbit $20us, extension $15us, rj45 crimper $35us], and (b) it's oh-so-much classier if you provide networking in a house that isn't made out of .325" sheetrock and outgassing toxic crap for the next 10 years.

  • Alas, this is all too typical.

    Their actual DSL division seems to have a clue, but they work as part of a company that does not know how to install cable properly. For the last year and a half, my phone line has been lying across my back yard & my neighbor's yard... I have to snake it through the trees every time I mow my lawn.

    I have a problem with either their phone service or their billing department about once every 2 months.

    Now my plan is to drop them entirely: I will get the 2-way cable-modem service from Roadrunner, and use my PCS phone for voice. Land lines are nice, but it is just not worth putting up with those idiots.

  • Ya know this would be pretty attractive to me. But it wouldn't need to be only on retoring old homes. Any community could do it. Here in Delaware most of the homes are packed into seperate developments. These usually have weird rules like "No satelite dishes", but this is something that a community could actually provide that would be worthwile.
    Having said that though, I'm not willing to move to St Louis for it.
  • > You probably have to put a lot of work into it though, eh?


    Don't even think about it unless you're willing to do a great deal of remodeling work. :-)

    But, the neighborhood is on the upswing. If you know anything about Soulard, this is the next Soulard. It's raining soup, be there with a bucket. ;-)

  • Note: I haven't read the article; the concept of an Internet-ready home is interesting enough

    I've been looking for a home in the Long Beach, CA area (why? I don't know...). After the birth of my child last October I long for things like a yard, a pleasant street, a den, a ... you understand. Things that an apartment just don't provide (here, anyway). So, I contact my friendly real-estate agent and arrange for a meeting.

    First question: what are your needs in a home. First answer: we must be within 1600 feet of the local phone company switch.

    Blew him away.

    I explained: since ADSL came into my home I refuse to live without some kind of fast Internet connection at home. This connection allows me to work from home as if I was in the office (plus a few security hurdles, of course). This allows me to enjoy my son (oh, and my wife) much more than if I had to travel Highway 22 every morning to get to work.

    The Internet has become a crucial part of my family's life: in a healthy way (well, except all the time I spend on Slashdot).

    So, am I surprised there are stories about Internet-ready homes? Nope.

    If you know of a good deal in the $230k to $260k range in decent parts of ADSL-capable Long Beach send me a note [mailto].

  • Does anyone have a good idea as to what it takes to be up to code for running Cat-5 in a residential home?
    Depends on your local building codes. Call your cities Building Department and ask - it can/does vary from city to city.

    My local building codes basically treat it like another phone line - no problems at all. I've heard of some places that require Plenum (sp?) grade cable (this is the stuff that can be run through air ducts - doesn't give off harmfull fumes when it burns/heats up).

  • by ZikZak ( 153813 ) on Friday May 26, 2000 @09:03AM (#1045262)
    ...yes, really, [customsteelhomes.com] (amazing who you meet on /., isn't it?) this isn't exactly a new thing. Homes have been pre-wired with for phones for 30+ years, cable for 20, security systems & stereo since the mid-70's, and data since the mid-90's. We typically run 1-CAT3, 2-CAT5, & 1-Coax drops in each bedroom, living space, study, etc. This has been done to over 1/2 the houses we've built in the last 3 years.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."