Engineering Firm Deploys Wireless Links to Restore Connectivity

Coe & Van Loo, a Phoenix-based engineering firm well-known for its expertise in land planning, civil engineering, two- and three-dimensional graphics, water resources, environmental science, landscape architecture, surveying and construction services, solves connectivity issues.


Coe & Van Loo, a Phoenix-based engineering firm well-known for its expertise in land planning, civil engineering, two- and three-dimensional graphics, water resources, environmental science, landscape architecture, surveying and construction services, had connectivity issues.

Over the years, the company has grown to more than 300 employees dispersed across two main facilities. Since fiber was exorbitantly expensive, the company initially installed a 100 Mbps, 18 GHz wireless radio to connect the two sites but a growth spurt in 2006 overburdened the link. Exchanging large CAD files and digital images between the sites became a slow and arduous process, taking up to four minutes to copy a 40-MB file across the network. However, the cost to upgrade the existing system to dual 400 Mbps wireless links was estimated at $125,000, which was bandwidth-constrained and cost prohibitive. While searching for more affordable solutions, the existing link suffered a catastrophic failure, severing communications between the two facilities.

Faced with productivity losses that could quickly exceed six figures, Coe & Van Loo sought the assistance of Renaissance Networks (RNi), a Tempe, Ariz.-based provider of wireless systems, to expedite network restoration. RNi recommended BridgeWave GE80 E-Band links, a compact and easy-to-install Gigabit RF product that offers 10 times the bandwidth of comparably priced 100 Mbps solutions. The GE80 link supports high-speed connectivity up to four miles, which easily accommodated the distance between Coe & Van Loo's two offices. Moreover, the company was able to acquire both a primary and a redundant BridgeWave GigE link for much less than the price of the competing 800 Mbps solution.

Coe & Van Loo's critical communications were restored within three days of the initial outage. Seamless connectivity between the sites now ensures staffers can exchange large AVI and MPEG files without network delays. According to John Bowers, network administrator for Coe & Van Loo, early testing showed moving a 150-MB file between the two offices took less than six seconds, a big improvement over the previous time of up to four minutes for sending a file one-fourth that size. "With our high-capacity BridgeWave links, we no longer have bandwidth limitations so we can embrace the latest and greatest tools to improve the quality of our work," says Bowers. "BridgeWave's Gigabit Ethernet links have enabled us to take our overall efficiencies to the next level."

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