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Point to Point, outdoor, line of site, wireless network


I posted this in the wireless area as well, but didn't get a solution.

I'm looking for a device to (securely) connect two buildings together that are across the street from one another. The distance is 500 feet at most, and there is a direct line of site. It would cost too much to tunnel under the street, so I'm looking for an alternative. This is also a disaster recovery connection, in the event the fiber was cut. I'd like to go Gig over it, but basic backup connectivity is the requirement.

Does Cisco have a product or partner with anyone?


5 Replies 5



You have a couple of options. Cisco Airespace will work for the distance,but trying to achive a gigabit is going to be tough. There is a company called Lightepoint that Cisco has funded heavily in, but I believe they are only at a OC3 level. Security will fall under the configurations that you set forth in the configurations. If you are just looking for basic connecitivity I would recommend the airespace.

Rising star
Rising star

Sounds like what you are looking for is free space optics (FSO). Typically comes into play when underground boring and running your own fiber through conduit is cost-prohibitive; leasing dark fiber is not an option; wireless is considered either too slow, or not secure enough; and you can see where you want to connect.

Cisco doesn't have anything in this niche, as far as I know; but if you do a search on "free space optics" you will find a ton of information.

Think of FSO as big media converters. Connect one to a Gigabit Ethernet port on your Cisco switch or router, it will transmit point-to-point through the air to another unit at the remote site.

Biggest downside to FSO is they are vulnerable to weather degradation. Think fog: if you can't see the other building, neither can your FSO solution. Some vendors offer a hybrid solution, combining optics and radio frequency wireless, to get around this issue.

Searching Cisco's web site brings up a couple of hits for LightPointe ( And paging through a recent issue of Network World magazine, Canon's got something they call Canobeam ( If you want Gigabit Ethernet, look for the models that mention a signaling rate of 1.25 Gbps.