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ExteNet working on integrated wireless system for Bonsall


Last updated 5/11/2007 at Noon

The path towards a wireless facility master plan in Bonsall includes some technological innovations intended to minimize visual impacts.

Fiberoptic transmission and repeater nodes are among the tools of ExteNet, which had been known as ClearLinx prior to a question about the legality of that name. “We take the RF (radio frequency) radio signals out of the wireless carrier’s transmitters and we convert that RF signal to an optical signal and then we run it over fiber optic cable,” said Jeff Frye, ExteNet’s director of implementation for the West Coast region. “It’s an alternative to traditional towers and monopoles.”

ExteNet systems are already in operation in other states, and in San Diego County ExteNet is working with community representatives and government planners in Bonsall, Rancho Santa Fe, Alpine, and the Point Loma area of San Diego. The Rancho Santa Fe project also includes working with the City of Encinitas.

“It’s pretty much up to the community to decide whether they want to move forward or not,” Frye said.

In Bonsall the process is in the conceptual development stage. “We actually have been working there in Bonsall for about two years now,” Frye said.

“We would love to be a part of that community and hopefully provide some solutions,” said Larry Jones, who is currently on hiatus from ExteNet but who was responsible for putting together the master plan in Rancho Santa Fe.

ExteNet builds distributive antenna systems. “It’s fairly colocatable,” Frye said.

“We can provide service for up to eight different wireless carriers off of one antenna system,” Frye said. “That makes it pretty aesthetically pleasing to the community.”

“Nodes” convert the optical signal back to radio frequency to complete the correspondence transmission. The node equipment is attached to street lights or other existing objects.

The technology requires cooperation of the carriers themselves as well as community approval. “We’ve got to have revenue to justify the investment,” Jones said.

ExteNet pays to build its facility while the wireless carriers pay rent over time. “We feel like that gives maximum incentive for the wireless providers to come in,” Jones said.

The node technology eliminates pedestals at each pole. “There’s no equipment in the public right-of-way any more,” Jones said.

When those equipment housings were in public right-of-way communities often complained. “The technology they loved. It was the clutter they weren’t really happy with,” Jones said.

Although ExteNet is not working on a system for Fallbrook, Frye does not rule out such a future collaboration. “Those are ones that we have in consideration,” he said. “Right now they’re more conceptual.”


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