What is the problem?
It is challenging to work in blackout conditions, and when they are emergencies, the task only becomes more difficult. People go down to the subway, work from coffee shops, and come to "Points of Invincibility." But it is not always convenient.
So we tell you how to provide a home or office with the Internet in no light conditions.
What is the solution?
In the event of a total blackout, the best solution would be Starlink and a generator. But you must wait some time to get them and the price bites. So we will discuss these solutions at the end, and now — inexpensive and reliable options.
Step 1: Provide network equipment from the "power bank"
This is one of the easiest ways to provide yourself with the Internet. You will definitely need it, even if you choose one of the options described below. Here's what you'll need:
- power bank,
- find out what voltage your network equipment (routers, modems, access points, etc.) needs.
If you see the inscription 5V on the device or its charger, look for a cable with USB on one side and a modem plug on the other.
If 9V, 12V, or more — find out whether your power bank supports fast charging protocols and whether it will make friends with the modem. If in doubt, look for special cables or ask someone to make one.
Typically, routers use a DC connector. This means that the required cable can be found on the Internet by searching for "USB dc 9/12v".
Step 2: Connect the "energy-independent" Internet
After you've got your modem up and running, you need to ensure a smooth internet connection. There are several ways to do this.
LTE-moden + panel/directional antenna
Mobile communications (including LTE) often go out during blackouts in your area. But a modem with LTE support and a powerful antenna will provide more coverage than a phone. You need to place the antenna in the direction of the cell tower. Find out its location in the support service or on mobile operators' websites.
The antenna receives the signal, and the modem distributes Wi-Fi in the room. If the modem discharges, charge it from a power bank, car, or generator.
Google "4G kit panel antenna" and choose a solution that fits your budget. Store representatives will tell you which type of antenna will be best for your location.
Fiber optic and GPON
GPON technology is a gigabit passive optical access network. The bandwidth of such a network is up to 1 Gbit/s, even with the simultaneous connection of several devices. If there is an uninterrupted power source in the house or apartment, a power outage or network load will not affect your use of the Internet in any way.
To have such an Internet, contact all Internet providers in your city and ask:
- Is it possible to lay optical fiber at your address?
- Is there any equipment in the cable path to you that will require additional power (usually not, but in apartment buildings, it can happen)?
- How many hours/days does the provider promise to work during a complete blackout?
If the provider promises a stable connection and has a backup power supply for optical fiber, negotiate a connection and get acquainted with a new concept — an optical terminal. This is an additional device that will convert light waves for your router. Next, you will only have to take care of the backup power supply of this terminal and router with the help of a power bank, battery, and generator.
Ukrtelecom and ADSL/VDSL connection
Ukrtelecom uses a classic telephone line, the power supply of which does not depend on the electricity in your house or area — ADSL/VDSL connection. The difference between them is that ADSL is a more modern technology, and therefore the Internet will be faster with it. If the main telephone lines work, you will have the Internet. But you need to clarify whether Ukrtelecom has an uninterrupted power supply or generators in your city and at your address.
For VDSL connection: https://ukrtelecom.ua/internet/50-mbit-s-z1/
For ADSL connection: https://ukrtelecom.ua/internet/vilnyy-adsl-95/
In addition, you will need to purchase a modem that supports ADSL/VDSL and power for it (as with classic wifi modems/routers). They are offered by Ukrtelecom and can also be found on OLX or Hotline.
For the most effective operation, Starlink must have an unobstructed view of the sky (that is, there should be no ceiling, walls, and preferably other buildings facing north between the device and the sky). It is also worth taking care of backup power for the station. It can be EcoFlow, Bluetti, batteries, or a generator. You can configure and maintain the set directly from the smartphone application.
Options for ordering the device:
- Long but simple. On the Starlink website, choose an address in Ukraine and order there. You need to make a prepayment when ordering, but the main amount will have to be paid when the device is already in Ukraine. Then there is only a monthly subscription fee ($75). Currently, the waiting period can be approximately two months.
- Faster, but more difficult. Order from the Starlink website to European addresses and arrange delivery to Ukraine from there. While the device is still on the way to the recipient's address in Europe, the country and address of use should be changed through the support service to Ukrainian. If the device is transported not by a natural person but by a carrier or service, customs clearance services will have to be paid for along with delivery services. In this way, it is possible to deliver Starlink to Ukraine in two to three weeks.
- The fastest and easiest. Search on OLX or Hotline for devices already purchased by other Ukrainians and agree on a complete transfer of access (including mail) or device transfer to your mail.
This material was created by the online media outlet Rubryka within the framework of the Ukrainian Rapid Response Fund program, implemented by IREX with the support of the US State Department. The content is the sole responsibility of the Rubryka online media outlet and does not necessarily reflect the views of IREX or the US State Department.
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