New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-03-2018

Options For A NLOS Link

I apologize in advance if this in not the correct place for this kind of quesiton, but it seemed the best fit for what I am asking. I will remove if it is not.


I bought my home year ago and was told that the local DSL provider serviced the address - they do not. As it turns out, no one does. None of the local companies run this far out and the nearby WISPs are unable to service me due to LOS issues.


The WISP has equipment on a 150' water tower that is roughly 6.5 miles away from home, due south. There are several groups of wooded areas in between my home and the tower, all roughly 90-100 ft tall.


I have done alot of research in the past year to see what my options are for getting a link to the nearby WISP. Here is what I have found/believe my choices are:


1. Pay to have a tower installed. This would need to be at least 100 ft to clear the trees, and even then I cannot be guaranteed it works until after it is installed. I was given a rough quote of $10,000 grand to have a 120 foot tower installed. This quote seems to be inline with what I have researched online. This is doable for me, but it is still a large sum of money for me to spend.


2. Work with the WISP to setup a relay site on a nearby neighbor's grain leg. This is a possibility, but my property is surrounded by trees on almost every side and the same is true for any properties nearby. I would still have LOS issues, although perhaps not as bad.


3. Television White Space. This is something I am unfamiliar with and have only recently started researching. It seems like it would do the job, but it still such an unknown for me. Redline quoted me $3379.80 a complete solution. Again, there is no guarantee that it will work until after it has been installed and tested. From looking at the broadcast near me, it appears that I would have several channels available to use. 


4. Pay to have a local ISP run cable to my home. This is nigh impossible, as there are few providers nearby( closest is several miles away). I have reached out to them about this, but none are planning to expand my way any time soon.


5. Private LTE. Seems like it would work, but I would be delving into technology I known very little about. Costs are also at least as much as the tower, if not more. This seems to be beyond my capabilites.


Speed is not a major issue. Obviously the faster, the better, but I had 3/1 in town and it worked. I would be happy with 3/1, 10/10 would be amazing. Satellite is not an option. The data caps are ridiculously low to the point of being unusable. The same applies for cellular. I am making do with an AT&T hotspot for basic internet access, but I need a long term unlimited solution for my family.


Sorry for the wall of text, and I appreciate any advice you can provide me with.

Posts: 14,511
Registered: ‎12-08-2008
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Re: Options For A NLOS Link

Well, you are in the same situation as a lot of folks, and there really aren't any good solutions that don't cost a lot...


At 6+ miles the trees will likely kill your signal too much, plus it's likely the ISP doesn't have the AP antennas tilted up to get someone out that far.   So you are right - either get up above the treeline, or find a different way to go.   If there is a nearby high site (like the grainleg) and you can get a signal from that to you (not always guaranteed, but if it's close it could work) and the owner would give you access, it can be done.   But there's a lot of things that come into play with that, including how you power the relay radios.   If it's close-ish you could probably use 900MHz radios to connect through the nearby trees, maybe from your roof to get somewhat higher, but there's no way to know without trying it.   Maybe there are neighbors with the same problem and you could all see if you can put something like a neighborhood system together, but then you will likely get stuck with running it... ;-)


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New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-03-2018

Re: Options For A NLOS Link

Thanks for the quick response.


The ISP was able to get a borderline usable signal on the ground, but lost it when they attempted to mount the equipment on my tv antenna. I assume it was able to briefly get a signal from below the tree canopy? 


I am exploring my options to use a neighbor's grain leg, but I think they will have the same issue I have - trees between them and the ISP's tower. 


As I am sure you can tell, this is not my area of expertise. I have a little bit of telco experience, but not wireless and not at these ranges. I'm willing to spend the money to make it work, as no internet is just not an option. I just want to make sure I'm spending the money wisely before doing so.



Ubiquiti Employee
Posts: 11,334
Registered: ‎04-14-2017
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Re: Options For A NLOS Link

I'll move this into the airMAX section for you.
Senior Member
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Registered: ‎07-17-2010
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Re: Options For A NLOS Link

If you are considering building a tower, talk to the WISP and see if you can make a deal with them to use it.


This may offset the cost.


We have worked with numerous customers that were willing to put in some work/cash to make things happen.