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Beam it over, Scotty

Blame it on the "cloud" but these days there is no denying the fact that decent broadband is very important to business. One such business based in Ireland was contemplating closing an office down to the fact that the local telco had no timeframe to improve matters. They had broadband but a 1 m/bit download isn't going to connect you all that well. Yet only 2 miles away the other office was enjoying thirty times the speed, broadband wasn't holding them up.

Fortunately they discussed their predicament with our cabling partner and our cabling partner knew straight away who to contact.

We own the hill.....

The customer owned some land and interestingly enough a hill between the two offices. From a quick desktop survey we saw that in theory you should be able to see each office from the top of the hill. A plan was hatched.

The following week complete with a decent pair of binoculars and some flashing beacons we headed out to site to prove our theory. Sure enough site "A" could be seen from the hill, site "B" however could just about be seen through a tree however a raised platform and some loppers would soon sort that out.

The dog-leg bridge

To connect the two sites we needed a bit of a shopping list:-

1. A digger to dig a quarter of a mile trench.

2. A quarter of a mile of armoured mains cable (yes this connection was very important)

3. One telephone pole.

4. One green roadside cabinet (although ours would be at the top of a hill).

5. An assortment of electrical connectors and boxes.

6. Four Ubiquiti NBE-5AC-16 wireless bridge transceivers.

7. A Draytek 2925 router.

(Dog-leg simply refers to the shape of the link)

Once all was fired up we were getting a throughput from site A at site B of just over 200m/bit ! This link was good enough to become part of the LAN (local area network) for site A & B. However one thing had to be designed into this - should the link fail for whatever reason we couldn't allow it to stop either end from working. Typically in this type of setup you could treat the link as effectively a network cable from the router at site A to the PCs/servers/printers at site B. All would work well until the link failed (lightning strike, site A power failures etc.). To design this problem out of the equation we treated the link as a choice for the router at site B. Using the dual WAN capabilities of the a Draytek 2925 router (in this regard think of dual WAN as dual internet connection). The link to site A is setup as the preferred link to the internet - being the fastest connection at 30m/bit and site B's 1m/bit connection being a backup route.

To stop from getting overly technical here and filling this with jargon it meant that site B would always have an internet connection if the link failed.

Now the customer has decent internet connectivity at both sites and a fast link between the two as well - perfect to rationalise on equipment - one server at one site, rather than two at two. Another bonus was the ability to view CCTV footage across the link. One happy customer.

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