George Zimmerman trial broadcast

142013 November


In Central Florida, George Zimmerman was put on trial for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The case was closely watched by the American nation as issues of race and Florida's controversial "Stand your ground" law were put on trial. As the local and national media outlets descended on the small town of Sanford, Florida, USA, the need for additional bandwidth became quickly apparent. Florida High-Speed Internet, a wireless internet service provider (WISP), was called upon to bring low latency, high capacity connectivity for data, telephony and video directly to the media village that was being set up outside the courthouse.


Florida High-Speed Internet is a Florida-based WISP providing high quality fixed point wireless connectivity directly to customers across a SAF Tehnika supported backbone. Their growing wireless network has become one of Florida's most trusted internet carriers and includes among its customers - counties, municipalities, schools/universities and private enterprises.


The bandwidth requested by local and national media outlets under the deadlines established by the court system presented the biggest hurdle for the likes of NBC, CBS, and CNN. While initially a dedicated fiber optic service was considered, the long lead time on design and installation quickly made this option impractical. Traditional copper lines in the area were insufficient for capacity and reliability for the end user's needs, which included live video of the trial back to the respective studio production facilities as well as traditional data and voice communications. The only option that could meet the competing needs of capacity and the time constraints was microwave.

"SAF was really the only choice for this project given the capacity and reliability requirements placed on us by the media outlets. The SAF Lumina links provide us exceptional performance at an outstanding price point with tested reliability and durability throughout our network."

Scott Carullo, President of Florida High Speed Internet


The microwave link between the Sanford courthouse and Florida High-Speed Internet's existing microwave network met all of the requirements. To ensure redundancy of the offered bandwidth Florida High-Speed Internet installed two SAF Lumina CFIP 6Ghz links to their tower locations 11 and 17.5 miles away. This provided the television stations the redundancy they demanded and delivered ample bandwidth for all their needs. As the trial went on, SAF Lumina links never missed a single moment of the coverage, day or night.

SAF Tehnika was chosen because of the following reasons:

  • Reliable carrier grade equipment and more than 10 years of experience in microwave business
  • Exceptionally fast delivery time
  • Quick installation and setup of SAF Lumina radios
  • Trusted performance
  • Low latency products, ideal for live broadcasting.

"Our experience with SAF's zero footprint, all-outdoor radios made clear the SAF Lumina was ideal for this deployment where we were given a very limited amount of collocation space at the courthouse"

Nick Olsen, Senior Network Engineer for Florida High Speed Internet

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