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Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

Here's the scenario - we have an AT&T 50M circuit handed off to us on 100M copper Ethernet. It's on us to get this circuit to our data room approx. 800ft. away, where it will connect to AT&T's router, which will break it out into data and a couple PRI's. Obviously, this is way over the 330 foot limit for Cat5e Ethernet, so we've narrowed it down to a couple options,

A. Run Cat6 the entire length and use something like these on each end,

B. Pull fiber (6 or 12 strand armored?) the entire way, using a basic Ethernet switch on each end which has both fiber/SFP's and copper.

Option B is over twice the cost of A, but has just about every other advantage besides. The cost alone is making it very hard to sell option B to the powers that be. My main concern, besides someone cutting our Cat6 runs, is running into a problem where AT&T refuses to troubleshoot because we've converted their signal into something else/unsupported. I suppose we could install switches every 300 feet too, but that introduces many more points of failure.

So, what would you do? Or is there another solution, considerations I'm not thinking of?

Thanks, -Joe

RE: Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

I'd do fiber every day of the week. If cable is all inside, you don't need armored - however, you may need plenum rated, depending on the actual environment. If a perfect world, they would have delivered via fiber to your building, and you just extend their native fiber and put their converter on the end.

RE: Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

In a perfect world, we wouldn't be dealing with AT&T. smile One of the AT&T techs actually mentioned their installer would likely plain fiber optic patch cabling if we contracted them to do the wiring. The thing that concerns me there is there's not conduit/flex tube the entire way - it's mostly hangers in the plenum area, and there's very likely to be construction going on soon as a significant portion runs through a currently unoccupied suite. How durable is the unarmored cable?

RE: Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

Yeah - sounds like plenum-rated armored is your best bet. Or standard plenum in a plenum inner-duct. Advantage is that you then have a duct for future cables.

RE: Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

I believe the VDSL would be good if you were trying to run a workstation or a handful of devices. I have used something similar for this reason and it worked great. My concern would be if the 50M advertised is usable 50M. Many times in wireless you will see 300M advertised and discover the usable bandwidth is about half due to overhead required. I realize this isn't wireless but the same thing might apply. You should also consider that you might increase this in the future and this device is already running at maximum. Fiber allows for easy changes.

You also raise a good point that AT&T has a reason to not be as helpful due to these devices.

Adtran has something called ActivReach that offers full network connection up to 1600 feet over copper. Not sure how economical this is.

Fiber is by far the best way to do this. Least complicated and most reliable. Since this is your main feed this is not a good area to skimp on. ~ Mike

RE: Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

Fiber is the way to go for your situation. To simplify the connection to the fiber, ask AT&T to change the hand off from copper Ethernet to fiber Ethernet. They probably installed a Ciena switch at the MPOE, and they brought your 50Meg pipe in on fiber anyway. You won't get that bandwith on copper from a Telco! So changing it to a fiber hand off should not be a problem. This way you don't even need a media converter. Then AT&T needs to equip their router with an SFP to connect to the fiber in your data room. The fiber would probably be Single Mode. That's all most Telcos use. AT&T should also be able to provide the specifications for this type of connection in order to get the proper fiber and equipment. Doing it that way should provide a cost difference for you and still use the armor or plenum rated material as needed.

Hope this helps!


RE: Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

We have a similar situation here...fiber enters the building into at&t splice boxes, our cabling contractor ran 6 strands of fiber from the entrance to our server room, the Ciena switch and Cisco router are located in our rack.

jeff moss

RE: Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

Edit: Copper handoff from the Ciena to the Cisco, and then from the Cisco to our firewall.

jeff moss

RE: Extending AT&T 50M Ethernet circuit 800 - 900ft.

You could very easily place a conduit with a pull string in it. Pull single mode fiber with either LC to LC, SC to SC, or LC to SC ends on it. You would need to look at the ends going from the AT&T equipment to the Ciena to determine this. Then call in to AT&T and tell them you have a new path for the circuit to be demarcated. The may or may not want to charge for this.

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