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.

Read more about network technologies and communications in

IT World Canada’s Communications Infrastructure Knowledge Centre

“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.