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In our corporate headquarters we are looking at replacing a 20+ year old phone system and making the switch to VoIP. This is a high rise where we have some limits around options for cabling. Currently we have some 'opportunities' for improvement, where about 95% of our data cabling is out of spec for Cat5e. We may be moving out of the building in 5 years so management is pushing back on rewiring at this time. We do have some minor issues with the data cabling, but not enough to force managements hand.

One the VoIP vendors recommended using Long Reach Ethernet. I have just started researching this and I am rather skeptical. Does anyone have any experience with any solutions/implementations of Long Reach Ethernet?

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Wow I had to dust off the cobwebs there, it has been a long time since someone mentioned Long Reach Ethernet. I'm not aware off-hand of any vendors currently selling/supporting LRE equipment for use in the enterprise...

To find the Cisco page on Long Reach Ethernet, I had to dig into the "Wayback Machine". (Looks like Cisco long ago took their page down.)

Cisco LRE Archived Page:

What is Cisco Long-Reach Ethernet Networking?

The Cisco Long-Reach Ethernet (LRE) broadband networking solution is the industry's first end-to-end product line for delivering 5-15 Mbps performance over existing Category 1/2/3 wiring.

With Ethernet-like performance that reaches up to 5,000 feet, LRE enables simultaneous voice, video and data applications, such as high-speed Internet access, video streaming and IP telephony.

It could help in your situation, but the 2900's and Workstation bridges that you would need have to be nearly impossible to find anymore. The last date for support was August 20, 2011.

I think at this point Cisco makes the assumption that everyone just has to suck it up and roll out the Cat5/6.

I'd love to know if I'm wrong though and someone is still making this type of equipment! I've got a few remote offices that are in a similar situation.

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