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Wireless backup to fibre network

Bridgewave Communications : 16 April, 2009  (New Product)
North Carolina county deploys BridgeWave AR80 wireless links to provide full rate backup to fibre link
BridgeWave Communications has announced that the county of Buncombe, NC has deployed four BridgeWave AR80 point-to-point wireless links, providing reliable backup to the existing county fibre-based network. The BridgeWave links offer full-rate gigabit Ethernet backhaul capacity with the strongest data encryption commercially available.

Named for Colonel Edward Buncombe, a Revolutionary soldier, Buncombe County is the largest county in the western half of North Carolina. Buncombe County's IT department supports 1,800 employees working in 20 locations scattered across 660 square miles. Major public safety facilities, including the police station, fire department and emergency medical dispatch, are connected via fiber-optic links. The county sought a reliable wireless solution to back up existing fibre lines, with ample bandwidth to support the county's VOIP 911 call centre.

As public safety was the utmost priority, the redundant wireless system needed to offer fiber-equivalent service if primary links were down. After researching wireless solutions, Buncombe County discovered BridgeWave Communications' Gigabit wireless links. Buncombe County winters often consist of sleet and downpours, impairing the ability of some wireless solutions to provide reliable service during the winter months. BridgeWave's 80 GHz capacity and AdaptRate mode switching offer reliable network connectivity regardless of inclement weather. During moments of violent downpour, transmissions switch from GigE to 100 Mb/s data rates, maintaining a highly available link.

With assistance from Wireless Data Systems, a leading systems integrator providing wireless networking services, an install team of five individuals established a high-capacity wireless backup, incorporating four BridgeWave AR80 wireless links. Several buildings located within Buncombe County lines provided excellent line-of-sight and the total deployment lasted just one day.

BridgeWave's AR80 radios provide a crucial role in Buncombe's network, offering around the clock reliability for the critical applications such as 911 dispatch. Health records and patient billing from county hospitals are among critical data transmitted across Buncombe County's network, in addition to medical dispatch calls to local fire and police departments.

"The safety of Buncombe County employees and residents was our primary concern when evaluating a Gigabit wireless solution," said Bryan Dillingham, network communications manager for Buncombe County. "BridgeWave's gigabit wireless links ensured we would never lose network connectivity, which is critical when dealing with emergency assistance calls. The AR80 radios have provided flawless connectivity and offered fiber-equivalent service."

"As regions like Buncombe County continue to grow, BridgeWave's Gigabit wireless links serve a critical role in providing highly reliable network connectivity or as a resilient backup," said Amir Makleff, CEO of BridgeWave Communications. "Critical network applications, such as emergency calls, require reliable network connectivity with ample bandwidth available to meet both existing and future networking needs."

Buncombe County has experienced flawless network connectivity since their deployment more than three months ago. Buncombe County is confident that the network is protected against lost connectivity, offering nonstop access to critical applications. In times of disaster, Buncombe County will be fully functional with BridgeWave's AR80 radios. Emergency workers will maintain contact to dispatch and major facilities, despite network failures.

"The county can rest assured knowing we have a reliable backup solution in place," said Dillingham.
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