Integrator Overcomes Environmental Challenges Of Networking Installation
Most technology installations present standard challenges for an integrator, such as disparate legacy systems, tight deadlines, and customer budget limitations. But combine those issues with environmental challenges that include elk and buffalo herds, and you start to understand the complexity of the networking installation for the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe (Lower Brule, SD).
The Tribe wanted a data and telecommunications network to connect its new tribal headquarters, businesses, offices, and community center across its 225,970-acre reservation. A network had not been established up to this point. The Tribe, sensitive to the preservation and protection of its land, which includes elk and buffalo, required an environmentally friendly and cost-conscious network. The solution would need to address buildings with disparate legacy environments: some with phone lines, some with fiber, and others with no connectivity at all. In addition, because the installation coincided with a construction project at the reservation, timing and project coordination among several parties was vital. Finally, the solution needed to be modular, allowing for integrated growth within the network.
Wireless Infrastructure Connects 250 Users
The Tribe hired IPR, Inc. (Omaha, NE), an enterprise network integrator, and Voda One (Pittsburgh), a division of the global networking company Westcon Group (Tarrytown, NY), to handle the networking project. Together they determined that laying fiber cables across the entire reservation was not feasible financially nor environmentally. So, they designed an Avaya (Basking Ridge, NJ) IP (Internet protocol) network connecting each building to a wireless network community that supported voice and data services.
The technology equipment included Avaya's IP-enabled DEFINITY ECS, MCK (Needham, MA) ExTenders, and a new wireless infrastructure from 3Com (Santa Clara, CA). The DEFINITY ECS in an Internet-based PBX (private branch exchange) telephone system that supplies a centralized dial tone to every user on the network. The PBX phone system saves the Tribe the expense of requiring a line for each user to the telephone company's central office. MCK ExTenders was used to convert analog and digital signaling across the IP wireless network.
The installation transformed the reservation into an IP-networked community over a wireless network and eliminated the cost of establishing a fiber connection. Four buildings and 250 users are part of the network.