Running Gigabit Internet between 100m to 5km

Documenting my project to get Gigabit internet speeds to my house which is greater than 100m away from the ISP

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This project is to document how to run Gigabit internet between 100m and 5km from an ISP to wherever you want it. For my setup, I only had to go 213m ( for which the ISP quoted $36,000 to run cable internet to my home), but the setup easily scales up to 5km. The cost of this system was under $2000.

Being in a rural area, for a number of years our only internet option was DSL. Recently, cable internet with speeds nearing 1 Gpbs had been extended in our area, but only to where our gravel road meets the county road, just a quarter mile away from our house. The quote from the ISP for running it along our gravel road to the house was $36,000.

Fortunately for us, one of the cable ports along the main line was placed at the edge of our property, 700 ft away from our house. It was just a matter of running it that distance while keeping the speed and keeping latency to a minimum.

As this is too far for a single ethernet connection, we decided to use fiber optic cable instead. However, the equipment needed to be remotely powered. To accomplish this, we set up the equipment as shown below.

  • 1 × Cable Modem Netgear CM2000 (DOCIS 3.1)
  • 1 × MPPT Charge Controller Renogy Rover 40A
  • 2 × 100W Solar Panels Renogy
  • 1 × 200 Ah AGM battery Renogy
  • 2 × Media Converter FS

View all 7 components

  • Running the Fiber Optic Cable

    Peter McCloud12/03/2022 at 03:34 0 comments

    The biggest issue with running 700 ft of fiber optic cable is making sure the cable is sufficiently protected. Ideally, I should run a conduit the entire way with the cable inside. However about 85% of it runs though a forest. In addition to massive amount of trenching, I also didn't want to damage tree roots.

    I did have alternative, which was a wire fence already running along the property line (see picture below). While it's not underground, it would be easy enough to wire tie to the fence and prevent it from be stepped on.

    Since it was going to be exposed to the elements, I did want some protection. After doing some research, I found some armored fiber optic cable. Around the glass fiber is a steel coil, wrapped with a UV resistant outer layer.

    After using weather resistant zip ties (black) to attach the able along the fence, the last section was run underground in conduit. Just be sure to respect the minimum bend radius. 

  • Choosing and Powering the Electronics

    Peter McCloud12/02/2022 at 19:14 0 comments

    In the previous log, I laid out the reasons for choosing fiber optic cable for carrying the internet connection from the ISP to the house. This leaves the issue of powering the cable modem 700 ft (213 m) away from our house.

    Running power that far leads to big expensive wires to deal with the voltage drop. Power from the utility company is available at the street, but the lines for our house are located elsewhere and a new power drop would have cost about $5000. On top of that, there's a minimum monthly charge of $15/month.

    Given those costs, a solar power setup makes a lot more sense. In order to minimize the cost of the system, I wanted to choose electronics with low power requirements. I also knew that I wanted electronics that I could power directly from 12VDC to eliminate power losses involving an inverter.

    The first item I needed was a cable modem. I wanted to support Gigabit speeds, but not have WiFi or any other features that would increase the power requirements. The cable modem I settled on was the Netgear CM2000. It's DOCSIS 3.1 capable, supporting speeds up to 2.5 Gpbs. It also had one of the lowest power requirements, which was 1.5 amps at 12VDC (18W).

    The media converter was a bit harder to find. Turns out that most of the media converters converting 1 Gbps Ethernet to Fiber run on 5V DC. This could have been workable, but it would have meant adding extra electronics (and power) to set down to 5V.

    There was one provider, FS, that had a media converter than could take 5-12V DC. It supports 1 Gbps and draws less than 3W.

    The total required power draw then 21 Watts, so I needed a solar power system which is capable of providing 500 W/day, which isn't too bad (in actuality, the power draw is close to 12W, which only means 288 W/day)

    However, I live in the Pacific Northwest and we get lots of cloudy days and snow, so I wanted a battery capable of providing powers for several days and panels that could charge the battery quickly when there's a break in the clouds.

    I ended up going with a 200W solar power kit from Renogy, with a 40A capable charge controller in case I needed to add more panels (cause I have lots of trees and shade, which is a story for another time). For the battery I decided on a 12V 200 Ah battery, but if your in area with more consistent sunlight, you probably wouldn't need more than a 100 Ah battery.

  • Choosing the Network Type

    Peter McCloud11/29/2022 at 04:17 0 comments

    I needed to get our internet connection to our house over a distance of 700 ft (213 m). Running a coax cable from the street to our house wouldn't support getting a strong enough signal. Researching the internet, I didn't find anyone who'd run a coax drop longer than 250 ft.

    One of the first alternatives I researched was Ethernet. Cat 6 can support 1 Gbps to 100 meters (328 ft), but you can break it up into multiple runs with switches in between to go farther. I'd need to do at least 3 runs given the distance. The biggest hurdle with this option is that there's no power available for those intermediate switches.

    The best option given the distance if I wanted to maintain the Gbps speed was fiber optic cable. FS has a table of speed and distance capabilities for single and multi-mode fiber optic. Single mode fiber can support 1 Gpbs up to 5km, so this seemed like the best option.

    I should add that there are wireless options for this distance. However, being the Pacific Northwest, there are a LOT of trees and no line of sight, so it was a non-starter.

    At this point, the overall concept was to place the cable modem close to the port, use a media converter to go from ethernet to fiber optic and bring the fiber optic cable to the house. That does leave the problem of powering a cable modem 700 ft, which I'll cover in the next log entry.

View all 3 project logs

  • 1
    Contact your ISP

    Since this was a non-standard install, we had to do some back and forth with the ISP to make an installation appointment. Be prepared to have to make multiple appointments as customer service wants to get you signed up, but the service techs may take issue with the installation. You'll want to provide your own modem instead of getting one from the ISP.

  • 2
    Scope out a location for solar panels

    Make sure you've got a spot that will get decent sunlight year round. If you're in a shaded location, you may not get enough power.

  • 3
    Locate the electronics box

    I chose a Job Site box to house the cable modem and the solar power hardware (charge controller and battery) since it's somewhat compact and secure. I located the box within a reasonable distance from the ISP port and within a reasonable distance for the solar panels.

    The service tech was a bit apprehensive about running to a job site box. If you think this might be an issue, a small shed may be more "normal"

View all 8 instructions

Enjoy this project?



teraz wrote 12/04/2022 at 21:17 point

is possible using mesh network on this? like and similar 

for example B.A.T.M.A.N.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Peter McCloud wrote 12/05/2022 at 00:16 point

Thanks for sharing, I hadn't heard of this particular mesh network.

Yes, think for some applications it'd be a good choice. For my application, it wouldn't be very practical. I have a mesh WiFI network based around my home and the signal from my house only gets 1/4 of the way from my home to where the ISP is at. I'd need to setup at least 2-3 mesh nodes to pass the signal along. With no power along the way, I'd several solar setups or specialized hardware.

If I convinced my neighbors to have group network it would perhaps work. I telecommute full time though, so I would be hesitant to rely on a network I don't have complete control over.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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