Modern LAN Pioneer Upgrades to the Next Generation of NVT Phybridge Innovation

Prior to 2011, a large university in the southeastern region of the United States was relying on a legacy Nortel telephony solution across its 350-acre campus. In 2011, the organization made the decision to improve its communication capabilities by modernizing to an IP-based solution across all 115 buildings on campus. The university chose to leverage its existing and proven CAT3 voice infrastructure to build a physically separate network for the IP solution using the NVT Phybridge UniPhyer switch.

Eight years later, the university was still completely satisfied with the performance of the UniPhyer solution. However, since the deployment in 2011, many new IP voice solutions were brought to market. The customer was interested in taking advantage of these new capabilities and decided to modernize to a Cisco hosted service for collaboration across the campus.


Along with the advanced capabilities, the university was interested in a Cisco hosted solution because it wanted to offload the management of the application. As part of the technology refresh, the university wanted to modernize from the UniPhyer to the next generation of innovations from NVT Phybridge; given the enhanced capabilities. The organization was interested in the PoLRE® (Power over Long Reach Ethernet) switch due to its advanced feature set, which includes power sharing for redundancy, load balancing, hot-swappable power supply, port monitoring, MAC address locking, transparency mode, and its energy efficiency. However, the organization was hesitant to upgrade the network due to concerns of:

  • High cost and disruption to overhaul the existing voice infrastructure
  • Installing hundreds of IDF closets across campus to support the new IP phones exactly where they were needed; resulting in network complexity and cyber-security concerns
  • Stalling the project while permits were granted to make alterations to the historical buildings on campus
  • Implementing the best network topology to support a hosted communication solution


Due to the incredible success in 2011 with the UniPhyer solution, the customer turned to NVT Phybridge for advice. Network consultants at NVT Phybridge examined the challenges and assured the organization that leveraging Modern LAN design and the PoLRE switch would be as simple, secure and cost-effective as the UniPhyer solution. The university was pleased with the response and scheduled a no-obligation proof of concept to test the switch in one of the libraries on campus. The test took place in the library because it was the oldest building on campus, and the customer anticipated the environment to be the most difficult. If the solution worked in the library, the customer was confident it would work in all other locations.

It took just a few minutes to swap out the UniPhyer switch and adaptors with the new PoLRE switch and adaptors in the library. Just as the UniPhyer did in 2011, the award-winning PoLRE solution transformed the existing CAT3 voice infrastructure into a robust and secure IP backbone for the new Cisco hosted communication solution. The customer was impressed with the results of the test and made the decision to move forward with the project. Just like the UniPhyer, the PoLRE solution allowed the university to extend connectivity and power to the IP phones with up to 1,200ft (365m) reach – that’s four times farther than standard switch solutions.


By leveraging Modern LAN Principles and PoLRE’s SmartPathPoE technology, the customer was able to maintain a physically separate network for voice. The point-to-point topology of the IP-enabled voice network provided the ideal environment to support the real-time voice application. The university was completely satisfied with the outcome, as they were able to:

  • Leverage the existing and proven voice infrastructure to simplify the deployment of more than 2,700 new Cisco IP phones across the 350-acre campus
  • Avoid installing a single IDF closet thanks to PoLRE’s long reach capabilities
  • Eliminate disruption to students and staff while reducing infrastructure costs by more than $1 million
  • Responsibly modernize to a hosted communications solution; avoiding over 8 tons of e-waste during the digital transformation
  • Eliminate the need to obtain permits and significantly reduce deployment time


If you have an upcoming IP/IoT modernization project, we would love to help! Click below to book a one-on-one meeting with one of our Digital Transformation Consultants.

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