Migrant Workers Get In-Room Dormitory Wi-Fi During Pandemic -
Singapore depends on nearly 1.4 million overseas workers, mainly from South Asia, to perform construction and domestic work.
In April 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Singapore had to put two large dormitories under lockdown after nearly 100 residents tested positive for COVID. The dorms housed almost 20,000 workers who were in danger of getting infected if they weren’t confined to their rooms.
The Covid-19 Task Force in Singapore issued measures that would not permit workers to venture out for a couple of weeks (a time period that has now stretched to nearly a year according to Bloomberg). The strategy was initially designed to prevent infection from spreading both inside and outside of the dormitories.
The sheer number of workers behind closed doors made it difficult for them to access Wi-Fi due to the spotty reception from access points in the corridors. Therefore, supervisors agreed that it would be best to install Wi-Fi access points directly into each dorm room.
They were under a time crunch too. The managed service provider (MSP) had only two weeks to deploy 2,000 access points and 80 switches in five worker dormitories, giving workers a way to keep in touch with their families and stay informed about developments during the pandemic.
With the controller switches, the MSP was able to add and modify hundreds of access points at a time in advance of the physical deployment. The specific switch models selected included the following:
All of the switches feature Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), which means the access points can transmit data and be powered from the same switch, saving the expense of additional power cabling.
Furthermore, EnGenius EnSky allows users to remotely access the platform to configure, monitor, and manage all devices on their network using a centralized web interface or mobile app.
The access point model selected was the powerful EWS330AP, which provides improved coverage, faster connectivity, and higher user capacity. It offers speeds of up to 867 Mbps on 5 GHz and 400 Mbps on the 2.4-GHz frequency band, giving workers the reliable Wi-Fi connectivity they needed.
When pandemics and other disasters strike worldwide, the need for up-to-date information is crucial as is the need to keep in frequent contact with family and friends. When disaster hits, Wi-Fi is as precious as food and water. And where it is lacking, suppliers must deploy it quickly and adequately.
That’s exactly what a Singapore managed services provider did.
The company deployed a Wi-Fi network in no time for thousands of isolated migrant workers using state-of-the-art Wi-Fi 6 switches and access points supplied by EnGenius. And, since the network could be maintained and monitored using a centralized dashboard, the risk of infection to IT staff was also greatly reduced.
As Singapore struggles to enhance its pandemic response, workers can still connect with the outside world and keep abreast of new developments.