FairPoint Communications is the latest service provider to launch a managed Wi-Fi offering, positioning itself to capitalize on what is becoming an important growth area for telecom service providers. The offering, dubbed FairPoint Managed Wireless LAN, is cloud-based and delivered from two separate data centers that back each other up. Unlike with premises-based systems, this eliminates the possibility of single point of failure.
The offering “enables FairPoint to provide a one-stop shop for WAN and LAN networking requirements,” said FairPoint Vice President of Product Management, in an interview. “We reduce the pain associated with scalability and security and higher-speed challenges that [enterprise customers] typically face with traditional Wi-Fi deployments.”
FairPoint Managed Wireless LAN
With FairPoint Managed Wireless LAN, customers require premises-based access points but can eliminate the need for a premises-based controller, explained Keith Brain, FairPoint director of product management. Brain noted that some controllers can only manage about 75 access points and as enterprise customers approach that limit, they often consider a cloud-based alternative as a means of avoiding the need to purchase another controller.
Customers can lease access points from FairPoint or FairPoint can manage customer-owned access points using cloud-based tools, Brain explained. Customers can use a dashboard portal to control certain types of access point functionality, he said. Alternatively, they can contact FairPoint to ask a FairPoint technician to make needed changes.
“Part of our service offering is in-depth design,” commented Brain. FairPoint representatives discuss the customer’s individual needs and customize a solution for the customer, he said. For example, the enterprise can allow employees to use their own Wi-Fi devices, but may place limits on how many devices an individual user can connect to the network. FairPoint also can work with customers to determine appropriate bandwidth allotments and to establish different permission levels, Brain said.
FairPoint’s Managed Wireless LAN Service is based on Adtran’s ProCloud Plus cloud-managed Wi-Fi offering.