Wireless-backhaul vendor Exalt Communication yesterday announced that Orleans County, N.Y., has deployed its 4.9 GHz solution to replace a microwave system that the county opted to discontinue after less than a year of usage.

“It was a quick, fast install, and it’s been a workhorse ever since we put it in—it’s been very reliable,” said Peter Stritzinger, Orleans County’s radio system manager for emergency management “We’ve had some severe storms where we saw the receive-signal strength go down and we had some bit errors, but we haven’t had it go down at all to the point where it’s unusable.”

Stritzinger said the county wanted a wireless backhaul system after suffering outages to its fiber link “usually a couple of times per year” caused by cable cuts and other issues. Faced with a tight budget, the county installed a indoor/outdoor microwave system from another vendor last September that proved to be problematic by November, he said.

“It was essentially failing every day,” Stritzinger said. “Needless to say, it wasn’t reliable.”

After ending its relationship with that vendor, Orleans County opted for Exalt’s system, which provides 55 MB/s throughout and can be configured for both native IP and native TDM traffic. With Orleans County planning to install an EFJohnson P25 system next year, such robust reliability is critical, Stritzinger said.

“[EFJohnson] wanted to have four T1s available to them,” he said. “This product is able to give us the four T1s plus the Ethernet bandwidth that they needed to maintain connectivity.”