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Connecting to Sites 50 Miles apart with a 100Mb/S connection


I am looking for a solution to connect my two sites together. I need a 100mb/s connection between the two sites located 50 miles apart. My ISP wants to charge my almost 13,000 per month. Can anyone help me out with a cheaper solution.

7 Replies 7


50 miles is too far for a wireless solution with two antennas, but you could use a hub or repeater site in between and have two wireless segments of 25 miles each. The repeater site would be like a point to multipoint configuration. You could use 1400 series bridges, but the maximum speed you are gonna get is DS3 speeds and not 100 Mbps. How does that sound ?

As far as the 100 Mbps solution, have you checked with various Metro ethernet services from service providers in your area ?

I see that your company is not in the US, are you trying to do this install in the US or in Europe. The distances you can achieve might differ, depending on the continent, because of varying power limitations for wireless transmissions.

You could try microwave towers, but they cost a lot on installation and licensing.

Hope that helps!

Sankar Nair
UC Solutions Architect
Pacific Northwest | CDW
CCIE Collaboration #17135 Emeritus

Just expanding a bit on Shanky's response...

The options available to you, and the price associated with each, are extremely dependent on where you are. In many countries, the Government runs the telephone system and as soon as you need a link even across the street they take advantage of their monopoly position. Even in the US (which is implied by your use of $ and miles as metrics), there are huge variations as you move around the country or in and out of major cities.

At 50 miles, you are out of range of typical LAN oriented solutions, and will be looking at either a MAN or WAN based solution.

A major consideration is do you really need 100 Mbps? Your WAN based solutions are based on telco signalling, and you would have many more options available to you if you were willing to settle for a 45 Mbps (T3 or more properly a DS3) connection.

Your request for 100 Mbps implies to me you are looking at connecting two LANs, and thinking in terms of bridging rather than routing. Remember that you only need to carry the traffic which must go between the sites, and a routed link does not carry all the broadcasts and other riff-raff common on a LAN.

High data rate wireless solutions, whether licensed or unlicensed, are limited to line of sight. This usually limits you to about 25 miles per hop because of the curvature of the earth, but wide variation occur in real life due to local geography and what buildings/mountains/obstacles are between your two sites. Unlicensed wireless is also subject to interference from other uses of the spectrum while licensed wireless is subject to unavailability of licenses.

Infrared is another form of wireless, but again you need a clear line of sight. As Shanky noted, you may be able to get a clear line of sight by putting together multiple hops. You also have to be more concerned with rain, snow and fog.

Finally, when engineering your solution, remember to consider not only the bandwidth required but also the delay allowable. This includes not only the propagation delay due to the finite speed of light, but also serialization delay (e.g. 1000 bytes at 10 Mbps requires 0.8 ms), processing delay (can be significant if doing compression or encryption), and queueing delays (the real killer on high utilization links).

For what it is worth, your quote of $13000/month is not that exhorbitant for the three T3's required to meet your demand for 100 Mbps. Changing nothing else, I suspect you could get the monthly bill well below $5000 if you drop your demand from 100 Mbps to 43 Mbps.

At the risk of sounding self-serving...for what you'll be paying per month to connect your two sites, a few thousand dollars invested in a competent consultant who could help you sort out your real requirements and formulate some alternative solutions would be an excellent investment. Even if he/she saved you only $500/month, you'd get your money back in less than a year and the rest is profit you get to keep.

Good luck and have fun!

Vincent C Jones


One solution is to lease dark fiber between the sites but I don't know how much that would be but it is worth asking. One question is why you would need that much bandwidth between the two sites. I seriously doubt that much would be needed, have you done tests to accuratly determine the amount that would be needed to perform day to day operations.

would it be possible to use one of this WAN compression devices then maybe getting a DS3. I am not really too familiar with these devices


As mentioned, where you are will dictate your options. If you are in an area served by SBC, they offer a service called "GigaMAN" that provides GigE service for distances up to 100 miles. It's available n Chacago and around the metro areas of Texas, and I'm pretty sure it's available in California.

Another option may be to lease dark fiber and drive it with JDS UniPhase boxes, which can push GigE out to ~100 miles (without repeaters).

Check with some of the commercial microwave providers as well. 100Meg is a fair chunk of bandwidth, most microwave radios will push one or more DS3s (45Mbps each).

Depending on your latency requirements, you may also be able to go with something like VSat: satellite radio ..... though most systems I'm aware of only push T1 or less. Hughs Satellite Systems would be a good organization to check out for service and equipment.

Good Luck, let us know how it finally shakes out.



At my location, Phila, PA we are not using an ISP. We are using a company that is strictly a fiber company. I would see if there are any in the area that might be able to give you a lower rate.

First off thanks for all the suggestions. These two locations are both in Canada. To be more specific in Toronto area. I will talk over everything that you have proposed with my collegues up there.

Thanks again

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