Finding information about metro private line service in downtown SF


I am investigating the options for linking up a new office to our
(coincidentally) close datacenter in downtown San Francisco. Both
locations are SOMA and within about 10 minutes walking of each other.

Calling SBC provided me with a rather clueless person telling me all
about ATM, Frame Relay and other options I don't want. To his credit,
I believe I may have been defining what I want incorrectly.

Since both areas are well within the same LATA (do people say that
anymore?) I am simply looking for some sort of private line service be
it fiber or copper.

Who are the providers local to the area? Is there any way of finding
what is in the ground around me? (I know UPN Networks is in between
our offices so I am confident there is fiber or copper all around us.)

What are the easiest options for this sort of thing? What kind of
pricing might we be looking at?

To give some perspective, we push a significant amount of bandwidth
through our datacenter such that if the costs work out we would prefer
a private line into our datacenter (for many reasons including cost,
internet speed in the office, ability to have a backend entrance to
our network for "offsite" backups, etc.). We would also then just
setup a DSL line or T1 for emergencies/failover.[1]

Please reply offlist, thanks for any insight,

[1]: Our alternative is too just get a T1 with a DSL for manual
failover but piping into our datacenter would provide a substantial
number of benefits. (this is a small office with about 10 people all
of whom can handle cold-swapping to DSL if ever needed...)

I have used PacBell's GIGAMAN service at a number of locations. Its
basically "managed" fiber running GigE.

Oops Forgot my Sig

Roy Engehausen

Roy wrote:

Can you get roof rights at both locations? If so, can you stand on one
roof and see the other? If yes, go wireless. You will have the capital
cost upfront but no monthly fees to pay to your friendly telco of
choice each month. There are plenty of companies that manafacture
telco quality radios for instances like this. Proxim, Alavarion,
P-Com, RadioLAN, just to name a few.


The Corning, FreeLink Optical Transport System looked pretty good as well if you have the money for it. Handles most weather, with the exception of fog.|ehtml/bc1e7d41f445a29d85256c07004a4b67?opendocument

Wireless is a great option, if it's an option at all - I would just make
sure to get a licensed link so you don't worry about getting knocked of the
air by some rogue interferer. In fact, I've found a source for 39-gig
radios (if the shot is less than 1.5 miles over the air) for about $3K.

Contact me off-list for that information (or wireless in general).



"Charlie Khanna - NextWeb" <> writes:

Wireless is a great option, if it's an option at all - I would just make
sure to get a licensed link so you don't worry about getting knocked of the
air by some rogue interferer.

Licensed offers no such guarantee; all it offers is some degree of
recourse if/when you encounter interference. The onus for finding and
tracking down the interferer, identifying them, and filing a complaint
with the FCC still rests with the licensee. Hope you remembered to
fill out the coordination responses during the comment period (and
depending on the band you're operating on, you could get a lot of

A site survey with appropriate spectrum analysis equipment (preferably
connected to antennas that have similar gain characteristics to the
one you propose to use, pointed in the direction of your path) is a
good first step. You may discover that UNII serves your needs
completely. No, it's not a guarantee that things won't change in the

In fact, I've found a source for 39-gig
radios (if the shot is less than 1.5 miles over the air) for about $3K.

Thanks to our pals at Winstar's demise and Advanced Radio Telecom's
reorganization, such things are commonplace. Intrepid souls with
friends in the real estate business may be able to get 'em for the
cost of removal. Don't forget to coordinate your licensing (these are
NOT part-15 radios as Charlie pointed out); ART's successor
organization First Avenue Networks does licensing for $500/link/year.


Using FSO in San Francisco is almost impossible :slight_smile:
There are way too many foggy days, I've watched links go up and down when
fog rolls down the street.

If you're looking at wireless, the only real option is 38Ghz (if you can
get the license) because of all of the 802.11x pollution.

Depends on the distance and what antennas you are using. If it's a
short hop (which it sounds like it is) and you have very directional
antennae, you can usually avoid most of the interference, especially
if engineered correctly with frequency coordination (BANC) and
checking of the frequencies with a spectrum analyzer before hand using
the the antennas you plan to use (like stated earlier in this thread).
But of course, stear away from the 2.4 Ghz band, look at 5 Ghz and


The answer is extremely dependent on how much bandwidth you want.
In some areas you can still buy dry copper and run whatever you want on it,
and in many areas you can also buy dark fiber and light it yourself,
but normally you're looking at having a carrier running some Layer 1 protocol
and maybe Layer 2 protocol on it. Depending on the speed you want,
there are different protocols that are easy for various carriers to run.
("Significant" isn't enough detail....)

Most carriers find T1s pretty easy to provide;
some find T3 or OC3 easy while others prefer Layer 2 solutions for
speeds above T1.
I'm not surprised by SBC's person proposing ATM and Frame; they use those
for a fairly wide range of speeds. A number of carriers also use
Ethernets of various speeds (full or fractional), and some people will
sell you "transparent LAN service" that's really
a bridged Ethernet edge interface with ATM underneath.