A wireless alternative to outdoor fibre

When the cost of maintaining a fibre optic network soared, Toronto-based George Brown College turned to what it’s calling ‘virtual fibre’ to keep buildings on campus connected.

The school deployed GE60 wireless links from BridgeWave, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based provider of Gigabit Ethernet outdoor wireless hardware. The deployment, completed in just a couple of months, resulted in identical performance to the previous fibre optic network, but at a much lower cost, said Andrew Riem, manager of infrastructure and operations for IT services at George Brown College.

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“It had the high capacity we were looking for because it would be serving an entire building which could hold 500 to 600 computers,” said Riem. Before this, the school leased a fibre optic network which operated just fine, except the provider changed the billing scheme to include minimum distance, he explained. The result was the leasing cost would rise to $20,000 per month.


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