Data Run Over 2,000 feet?

Telecomm used Ask the Experts™
Hey everyone,

I'm trying to find the best way to run a single cable run of ~2,000ft. This line will provide a 10Mbps internet connection from one building to another.

I've thought of running cat6 and then placing switches/repeaters along the line to prevent signal loss. However, I was wondering if it would be possible or better to run coax and then have ethernet to coax hand-off at either end?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated!
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If you go with 10Base5 co-ax cables, you can go as much as @1500 ft.

Each ethernet switch will give you @100m or 300ft.  Two switches at the end to convert from twisted pair to co-ax and then co-ax in between might work out for you.

Les MooreSr. Systems Engineer
Top Expert 2008

I hate to be captain obvious, but why not just run Fiber?

A run of singlemode fiber will do whatever you want at 2,000 feet: 10Mbit/s up to 10+Gbit/sec in the future.
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I was actually thinking multimode fiber because I can get the transmission equipment (Adtran SFP fiber modules connected to 1234 switches) for cheaper then singlemode.
So, everything multimode is typically less expensive.  If your budget demands MMF, make sure that you are running OM3 50 micron laser-optmized fiber.  That will allow you to get up to GigE speeds should you need it in the future.

There are many media converter options available for 10Mbit/s, 100Mbit/s, even GigE conversion back to standard copper RJ-45 ports if you are only going to need one PC at the other end, or if your switches don't have fiber ports.

One other thing, back to a previous Expert's comment -- if your only option is copper cabling, you can use an "Ethernet Extender' which is a small box at both ends that converts the Ethernet signal to one that is suitable for very long runs (sometimes even only a single pair of telephone-grade copper), and then back to Ethernet.

Here are some example products, I've never used them, but should work for ya:

I'll make one last recommendation -- if you decided to use media converters or Ethernet extenders, do yourself a favor and buy a spare set so that when they eventually fail you're not left with an extended outage waiting for replacement parts.  These aren't something you can typically find at your neighborhood computer store . . .

- Dani
Top Expert 2010

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