Mesh broadband wireless net survives Louisiana tornado

by Guy Kewney | posted on 03 June 2004

No attempt not to be smug: one of the most successful exploiters of mesh wireless emerged from a violent storm front which swept across the Ark-La-Tex yesterday morning, boasting that its Internet and VoIP phone services survived intact.

Guy Kewney

"The storm passed, leaving a scene of devastation in its wake. However, as a testimony to the advantages of wireless broadband - not a single client was affected in Vivian, LA," said Fastline representative Kenny Bain, "We had trees uprooted and power lines down, but none of our access points got affected. The lightning was so violent that it shook my house every time it struck."

Wired comms literally went down. "We fared much better than the telephone and cable companies did. There were poles that were snapped in two and wires all over the place in some parts of town," said Bain.

It wasn't just Internet that went down with the poles: "Many businesses were still without comms, and some even without electricity after the storms swept through.However, Fastline clients were able to use VoIP telephone service to send and receive calls as if nothing had happened."

FastLine now has a wireless link installed between the Vivian and Linden networks. This link is part of the company's effort to ensure zero downtime. FastLine has a T-1 backhaul in each town, and now, so users in each town will have access to the bandwidth of two T-1's.

According to Bain, "This clearly demonstrates the advantages of the wireless mesh. Even if we would have lost our backbone connection in Vivian, we now have the option of pulling bandwidth from our sister network in Linden, Texas which is 21 miles away."

Details from Fastline

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