What Is Wi-Fi Infrastructure?

Here at Abacus Aerials, we’re experts in Wi-Fi network distribution and setting up Wi-Fi infrastructure, but what is Wi-Fi infrastructure?

Wi-Fi infrastructure comprises a wireless local-area network (WLAN) that is a group of co-located computers or other devices. These computers and devices form a network based on radio transmissions as opposed to wired connections. Your home Wi-Fi is a type of WLAN, meaning you’re using Wi-Fi infrastructure to read this FAQ.

Wi-Fi infrastructure allows for internet access wherever you are and allows for businesses to be productive with work carried out remotely and globally. Wireless networks also allow for multiple devices to connect seamlessly and for content to be streamed anywhere. The whole premise of home automation rests on Wi-Fi infrastructure.

WLAN transmits information over radio waves just like broadcast media does, sending data in packets which contain layers with instructions and labels. These instructions and labels, along with unique MAC (Media Access Control) addresses assigned to endpoints, allow for routing to intended locations.

As stated already, your Wi-Fi network at home or work is an example of a WLAN, which is set up in infrastructure mode. All endpoints are connected and communicate with each other through a base station. This base station may also provide internet access.

Only a few components are needed to establish a basic infrastructure WLAN. The first is a wireless router that serves as the base station. The second is the endpoints, which can be smartphones, tablets, printers, computers, etc. Basically, anything that can connect wirelessly. In most scenarios, the wireless router also provides an internet connection.

With an ad hoc setup, the endpoints are connected by the WLAN without the need for a base station. This is possible through Wi-Fi Direct Technology and is commonly used for basic peer-to-peer (P2P) communication. An ad hoc WLAN only requires two or more endpoints with built-in radio transmission. One user initiates the network and becomes visible to others.

Network Infrastructure Meaning

Network infrastructure is a term that’s commonly used to refer to everything that makes up a computer network. This includes the hardware, such as wires, modems, and routers, and the software that manages how the computer network behaves. Network infrastructure is necessary to maintain the network and allow for all endpoints to connect.

The term is often used to describe a combination of networks that communicate with each other, or it can be used to describe the underpinnings of a single network.

A basic overview of network infrastructure is as follows:

  • Servers – These run computing processes and are often a computer or smaller device that’s solely dedicated to hosting a computer programme. Websites are typically hosted by web servers that allow Internet users to connect to them.
  • Routers – These are intended to act as base stations, receiving and directing packets from elsewhere on the network or from another network to their intended destination.
  • Wires and Cables – These carry packets and signals.
  • Operating Systems – These manage how the network behaves and provide instructions to the computer on how to run and perform computing processes correctly.
  • Network Protocols – These are intended to regulate transmission and data packets, a common example being TCP/IP, which is the protocol for Internet communication between connected devices.
  • Firewalls – These are designed to restrict access to private networks, permitting or discarding data packets. They provide protection against malicious intrusion and can be either hardware- or software-based.

That covers network infrastructure, meaning, now let’s discuss who owns the internet infrastructure in the UK.

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Who Owns the Internet Infrastructure in the UK?

Now that we’ve talked about what Wi-Fi structure is and looked more closely at the components that comprise a WLAN let’s look at how owns the internet infrastructure in the UK. The short answer is nobody and everyone. The Internet is essentially a massive network of connected devices, though certain components are owned by Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

For instance, in the UK, most exchanges, local loops, and backhauls are owned and managed by BT Wholesale. They wholesale connectivity via ISPs who, in turn, provide internet connectivity, support, billing, and value-added services, e.g., web hosting and email). A British telephone socket typically connects the modem to the broadband.

BT operates more than 5,000 exchanges throughout the UK as of 2021. Most of these exchanges are ADSL, with fewer than 1,000 having been upgraded to support SDSL. These are normally located in major towns or cities where business hubs are found. SDSL is, therefore, currently geared more towards business consumers and is priced higher than ADSL.

So, while no one individual, company, or government can lay claim to the whole Internet, individuals, companies, and governments can own parts of it. Generally speaking, the ISPs own most of the network infrastructure, and they are the ones we pay for access to the Internet. In the UK, there are multiple ISP options, including:

  • TalkTalk
  • Virgin Media
  • BT
  • Sky
  • PlusNet

You should now have a better understanding of who owns the internet infrastructure in the UK. Let’s now move on to discuss whether the Internet is a form of infrastructure.

Is the Internet an Infrastructure?

The Internet has grown from a collection of a few hundred websites to a mammoth entity that forms a central part of most people’s lives. With the sheer number of internet-enabled devices in circulation globally growing with each passing year, the Internet is a powerhouse without a doubt, yet one that defies simple interpretation. Is the Internet an infrastructure?

The Internet is essentially a network of networks. Telecommunications companies draw fibre around the world and trade internet traffic across those wires. This traffic comprises all the videos, photos, posts, memes, and more you see every single day. This is called content.

Nestled between these telecoms components and the content is the heart of it all – the Internet’s infrastructure. This is the physical hardware, transmission media, and software that keeps everything connected and flowing. It’s all responsible for hosting, storing, processing, and serving the content that comprises the websites and apps we access.

Datacentres are a crucial part of the Internet’s infrastructure, housing servers that are computers optimised to run all the Internet’s processes. These datacentres can be owned by large companies or divided into sections and sold to other Internet infrastructure companies to rack and stack their own servers.

Internet infrastructure companies operate:

  • Web Hosting or Domain Name Services
  • Storage
  • Backup
  • Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
  • Acceleration Services

Web hosting services host a website, and domain name services sell you the name of that website (and its associated URL). While storage and backup services archive all our content and files securely, helping to keep sensitive and confidential information secure.

what is wi-fi infrastructure

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If you would like to find out more about Wi-Fi infrastructure or enlist the expertise of the team here at Abacus Aerials, you need only call us on 07780 186 085. Our team is skilled at providing the highest quality of satellite, home entertainment, TV, aerial, and internet installations. Our employees bring more than 35 years of experience to the table, providing bespoke Wi-Fi setups tailored to our customers’ exacting specifications.

We carry out all vital tasks, from cable installation to maintenance work. Your devices will experience no drop in performance, and you’ll enjoy a stable internet connection and the performance you’re paying for. For a FREE quotation for services that work within your budget, get in touch with our team today.

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