How to provide internet to a mountain side home 1/2 mile outside of Comcast's service area?

A wealthy friend has a home on the side of the Wasatch Front overlooking the Salt Lake valley.
 
Clear LOS to just about any location all the way to the mountains on the other side.
Comcast conveniently skipped his house when they laid their backbone throughout the valley.
The nearest bordering neighbor who does have Comcast is 1/2 mile down the hill.
Goal:
Provide this person with fast internet so that he can better manage multiple businesses that he owns.
Broad Question:
What are his options given that funding is not a major issue?
Specific Questions:
Is point-to-point microwave a reasonable path?  Where does one even being that process?
What about laying his own outdoor coax (using some sort of repeater).  Is that even feasible over 1/2 mile?
He's asking for guidance from me as a friend because he knows that years ago, when home wireless was still young, I managed to extend my T1 line via wireless about 1/4 or so to a friend's house using some jerry-rigged hardware (amp, directional antennas, etc).  But none of that would work in this situation.

I am more of a software engineer . . . this is not my area.  I am just looking for some guidance.  I understand there may be multiple solutions or perhaps no solution.  Any ideas would be helpful.
LVL 1
stgreenwaltAsked:
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
As money is no object, tell him to ring Comcast and ask for them to lay a fibre to his front door. Job done.
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
Several options:

1. What Neilsr suggests
2. Dish Network
3. DSL
4. Microwave

and probably more.
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Robert Sutton JrSenior Network ManagerCommented:
As suggested above, you can pay for a "Private Right of Way" feed in which the customer pays the provider to extend service to the premises. However, it will be billed at customer cost which will get very expensive at approx. $500.00 USD per pole let alone cabling and man hours cost that they will bill you for upon completion. It may be in this persons best interest to look into purchasing a simple point A to B microwave system or hire a contractor to lay the cable for you and then have the service provider hook up to that once completed.
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Robert Sutton JrSenior Network ManagerCommented:
Forgot to add this to my above post about simple microwave solutions.

http://digital-microwave-radio.at-communication.com/en/at/pdh-digital-microwave-radio_flexible-solution.html
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K_WilkeCommented:
Considering it is Salt Lake City, I would really forget about microwave and/or Dish Network options.
Reason is that when there are clouds with heavy percipitation (whether snow or rain) Dish Network will work very sporadically and same with microwave.  We have the same issue here in northwest Montana.
If he doesn't care that during bad storms he will not have internet then it is no big deal.
Thanks,
kelly W.
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
@K_Wilke:

That is good to know.  We had similar issues in North Iday with DirectTV for our TV. Even the slightest bit of precip would cause signal outage. We moved to Dish and the install tech suggested spraying the dish with a non-stick spray like used in cooking. I wonder if that would help with internet as well.  I have DSL though.
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K_WilkeCommented:
The spraying the dish will work so that snow will not accumulate on the dish.
The issue is that the signal is trying to go through a cloud with rain (and sometimes electricity) to get to a satellite and so naturally the signal will get broken up.
Thanks,
Kelly W.
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Robert Sutton JrSenior Network ManagerCommented:
I disagree....Digital microwave is highly reliable as its a totally different animal than that of "Direct TV and or Dish network via simple downlink" along with taking into consideration we're only about a .5 mile shot. Furthermore, you have to understand that DirectTV and Dish Net. operate via simplex ONLY. 1-way transmission. This is why its called a Receiver(DirectTV and Dish Network) and your only way of communication to the carrier is via landline or pstn. In addition, most cable providers operate VHF and UHF terrestrial sat links between headends and partner providers. These are rarely affected by inclement weather. For those above comparing Digital microwave to a Sat-Downlink to receiver via simplex transmission(1way; DirectTV&Dish alike) in terms of weather and reliability, these are two completely  different technologies. Just wanted to clarify that...
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Robert Sutton JrSenior Network ManagerCommented:
A simple digital microwave solution between point A and B at less than a mile will more than likely NEVER see service disruption due to weather or a cloudy day.
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K_WilkeCommented:
Okay, will not get into a pissing contest here.  Just know that digital microwave does not work real well with freezing fog (have lots of that in this part of the nation I live in, not sure about SLC).
Go for it on the microwave solution, but try to get a QoS for freezing fog, etc.
Thanks,
kelly W.
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bgilsingCommented:
Wireless is not an option when wireline solutions exist. If money were no object then you should get a dedicated Internet solution via fiber or Ethernet over copper. Call the local phone company and see if they offer Ethernet over copper. It will be much more reliable and not shared like a cable connection is. Kind of like the next version of T1 service only up to 100mb without the need for Fiber.
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stgreenwaltAuthor Commented:
I apologize for the delay in responding.  I was waiting to get more information on this matter.

Since this is on the side of a mountain (meaning rocks) there is no way to lay a ground cable.  Comcast will not (cannot) do it.

Most of the responses so far each contain good information, and I appreciate that.  I will likely assign this as "multiple solutions".

Before I do that, I would like any input on the hardware available at this site

This is not microwave.  I am guessing this is just an amplified high frequency radio system.  Would this type of system be more (or less) affected by weather as compared to a microwave dish.

Any comments would be appreciated.
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Steven CarnahanNetwork ManagerCommented:
The way I read that (I just glanced through quickly) there would still need to be an initial connection to the internet. This option is strictly for extending that connection via WiFi out over a greater distance.  Sort of like a repeater.
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George FendlerprogrammerCommented:
1. If it is available in your area, you should consider a Fixed Wireless ISP. The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association (WISPA) has a "find a wisp" look-up tool on their website (http://www.wispa.org). It lists 12 wisps in Utah. I don't know if any of them can cover your friends address, but that would be worth a try.

2. If you can find someone willing to put up an Access Point (AP) on a house within 20 miles from your friend, you could consider a point-to-point link. There is a balancing act between frequency and bandwidth. Unlicensed bands like 900 Mhz, 2.4 GHz, 5.8 GHz are the most common bands to deal with. 2.4 and 5.8 are the most economical and easiest to work with.

If the other end of your access point is truly line-of-sight (LOS) you should use the highest frequency that is consistent with the distance. As the frequency increases, the range decreases. Also, higher frequencies allow higher bit rates. But, for longer distances atmospheric obstructions (like rain and ice fog) can degrade signal quality.

In determining LOS, you need to understand that this not a simple line in space between the two points. It is a three-dimensional area called the Fresnel zone. There are calculators available on line to calculate the Fresnel zone for your two sets of coordinates.

Once you find someone who will allow you to locate an AP on their property. Make sure the ISP that provides service to that location will allow you to connect another location. If you provide the coordinates, I can check and make specific recommendations for equipment and configuration.
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stgreenwaltAuthor Commented:
This solution offers a balanced and clear approach regarding how to approach the problem.
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