FI Telephone: Improved Broadband Link to Mainland

August 14, 2021
By Tom Siebens

Fishers Island Telephone is improving its microwave radio link to the mainland in order to meet the growth in demand for broadband service on Fishers Island.  The link’s capacity is being doubled from one gigabit per second (Gbps) to two Gbps. Over time, if needed, capacity can be increased incrementally to as much as 10 Gbps.

Photo credit: Chris Finan

To enable this upgrade, the microwave dishes at Top of the World will be mounted on a 35-foot octagonal steel pole installed in place of the current 35-foot wooden telephone pole. The new pole can support more microwave dishes. In addition, the steel pole will not flex like the wooden pole; the added rigidity will ensure a more stable line-of-sight connection to the microwave dishes of the broadband service provider on the mainland. The pole is hurricane-rated, resistant to winds in excess of 120 miles per hour.

This is a cost-effective solution to the island’s need for more broadband capacity. A microwave link is a proven, commonly used technology. It presents no health issues, but for security reasons the new pole, along with the adjacent water reservoir tank, will be surrounded by a chain-link fence.

To benefit fully from the added capacity, Fishers Island Telephone plans to build out the island’s fiber-optic network off of the fiber backbone installed three years ago. The ultimate goal is to make “fiber optic to the home” a reality on the island.

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About us: Fishers Island Telephone Corporation owns and operates the telecommunications system on Fishers Island, New York.  The company is owned by Fishers Island Utility Company, Inc. and Fishers Island Development Corporation.  It is regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission.

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