DCB just completed the installation of 10 mbps ethernet lan links for
Mendota. Each school has a radio tower, 80 feet high at the Northbrook
school, 65 feet high at Lincoln and 65 feet high at Blackstone. One link is
8/10 of a mile, the second link is 1.1 miles. The ethernet radios are the
model 875 , operating at 23 ghz over a licensed radio link.
This installation is the culmination of almost a year of planning by the
school district. Superintendent Bob Chinn began evaluating alternatives in
November of 1996. The evaluation process included various wireless and
fiber solutions, including the use of power company poles. The power
company alternative took months of discussions before it became clear that
the power company pole approach faced far too many obstacles.
In June, after reaching the decision to use 10 mbps wireless links, the
detailed installation process began. This included locating the towers,
constructing the towers, the licensing process, and finally, installing the
The system has already proved to be rugged and reliable. Mendota passed the
first difficult test on the 26th of October when the town was hit with 8
inches of heavy wet snow that devastated many trees in the town, but had no
effect at all on the wireless lan links.
Mendota will soon be testing video over the lan, delivering streaming video,
Internet, and administrative data over the wired and wireless lan. This
network is truly a model network for schools as they build communications
infrastructures for the 21st century.
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