Madison ISP Sustains Rapid Rollout of Metro Ethernet Services Powered by Gigabit Wireless Links

High-capacity backhaul solution supports growing VoIP and data demands while setting the stage for expanded Internet services including IPTV and IP-based video surveillance.

by / September 5, 2007
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According to BridgeWave Communications, ResTech Services, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) based in Madison, Wisc., has deployed both BridgeWave FE60 and GE60 gigabit wireless links to aggregate and backhaul digital voice, data and video traffic over a high-speed metro Ethernet network.

Founded in 2000 as a technology arm of Steve Brown Apartments, a property management company with strong ties to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, ResTech has earned a stellar reputation for bandwidth capacities that exceed service levels of the incumbent telco and cable competitors. ResTech deployed a switched network with a high-speed wireless backbone to keep pace with ever-increasing bandwidth requirements, streamline service deployments and reduce operating expenses. The fast-growing ISP offers more than 10,000 customers in over 5,000 campus-area apartments and condos the ability to place orders electronically or over the phone as well as receive same-day service activation by plugging into an Ethernet jack in their residence.

Initially, ResTech relied on a variety of 5GHz wireless links to transport traffic and connect different properties to its network via multiple points of presence (PoPs). The growing popularity of streaming video services, such as YouTube and Joost, soon caused a strain on the ISP's backbone capacity, which also needed to scale rapidly to accommodate bandwidth surges from the annual influx of new students. In planning for substantial bandwidth increases, ResTech realized that its 5GHz links wouldn't prove adequate, especially as continuing saturation in the downtown network segments made it increasingly difficult to avoid radio frequency (RF) interference.

Stepping up to Gigabit wireless backbone capacity was the logical choice, so ResTech researched leading products in this space and determined that BridgeWave's GigE 60GHz wireless links delivered the required capacity, reliability, low latency and expandability. In particular, the ISP was impressed with the product's extremely narrow antenna beamwidth, which eliminated any interference concerns while also making the links inherently more secure than other wireless technologies. Equally appealing is the link's ultra-low latency performance to assure jitter-free VoIP and high-quality IPTV services.

To date, ResTech has installed three BridgeWave GE60 GigE and two FE60 100Mbps links with plans for additional deployments. According to Bryan Schenker, director at ResTech Services, the high-capacity BridgeWave radios have delivered "five nines" network availability while facilitating rapid expansion. "With BridgeWave's high-performance, cost-effective GigE wireless links, we can be much more agile than our competitors," he says. "This future-proof solution lets us scale our network and services to deliver the highest quality of affordable voice, data and video services over the Internet. There's no end in sight to what we can do."

With plenty of room to accommodate network growth, ResTech is gearing up to offer 20Mbps Internet service while also testing new, bandwidth-intensive applications. "We're pretty excited about the prospects of IPTV as it removes the cable company's last competitive advantage," adds Schenker. "If demand accelerates as projected, we expect to buy another 20 or so BridgeWave links in the next year." Additionally, ResTech is exploring other ways to leverage the ample capacity of its BridgeWave links, including working with Steve Brown Apartments on a state-of-the-art IP video surveillance, card-key access and 50Mbps Internet service offering for a new on-campus property.

BridgeWave's high-speed GigE products are proving instrumental in helping this thriving ISP retain a significant lead over its competitors while producing a complete ROI in less than a year. "BridgeWave's high-capacity Gigabit wireless links play a pivotal role in helping operators meet escalating bandwidth demands without the spectrum saturation, security concerns and installation delays associated with other backhaul solutions," says Gregg Levin, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for BridgeWave Communications. "In deploying a GigE backbone, service providers are well positioned to stay ahead on the technology curve and be among the first to deploy emerging, profitable Internet-based services."

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