Bull's Eye Awards: Deployment of the Year

  • By

    Steve Wexler

    | Posted 2009-12-17
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ERS Data Solutions
Focusing on wireless data, voice and video solutions, Indianapolis-based ERS Data Solutions Group was more than a little extreme for its winning deployment. For the 2008/2009 season finale of the popular reality show, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," ERS Data Solutions was tapped to work on the project building a wireless mesh wide area network for support operations during the episode in which a house is fully restored.

The primary challenges for ERS were the highly compressed time frame and the network reliability required by the show. Even a few minutes of network downtime could make the whole project fall behind schedule. The network also had to be robust enough to support numerous high-bandwidth applications, including those that allowed the construction team to quickly access and share blueprints and schematics. The approximately 5,000 community volunteers who support the show needed to access the Internet. And the television crews on the set needed to send video back and forth.

In addition, the builder asked ERS and Internet service provider FirstMile Technologies to expand the network and make it accessible to the entire mostly low-income neighborhood – to operate there after the completion of the TV show. They agreed, and the network is now being expanded to help support community initiatives in education and other areas.

In total, ERS deployed and configured 20 Motorola MWAN 6300 series access points (APs). ERS also deployed one 5.4 GHz Point-to-Multipoint 400 series AP and two subscriber modules (SMs) to connect the areas covered by the mesh network back to the Internet point-of-presence. When completed, the network covered a half square mile and 459 homes.

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