Case study

Securing critical road infrastructure with an out-of-the-box communication solution

How our multi-mode fiber system provides reliable, real-time monitoring for an automated highway toll booth in Ireland.

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Video and data transmission

Delivery method - hybrid

Delivery method


Industry - public sector


Public services

About the client

Begun in 1985 and finished in 2007, the M1 was Ireland’s first complete highway. The 80km road links Dublin and Belfast via the Northern Ireland road network, making it one of the most strategically important routes in Ireland.

The challenge

In 2018, the client contacted us to deploy our SPC platform as part of a new security and communication solution for one of the highway’s toll booths.

At night, the toll booth is fully automated. So, the security team needed a reliable video transmission system that allowed staff to connect to and operate the system from the control plaza, 6.2km away.

The solution

We began by replacing the team’s legacy Europlex system.

The original system used bespoke IFS multi-mode fiber to bridge the gap between the toll booth and the control plaza. However, multi-mode has an effective range of approximately two kilometers. This caused communication over the fiber link to cease when our installation partners, Precision Security, deployed the new SPC control panel.

Previously, Precision Security had deployed a pair of fiber cables, alongside two transmitters and two receivers, to transmit the signal. But while updating the site, the team found that a single pair of acre fiber units provided the same functionality right out of the box – despite only being specified for 4.5km.
Our multi-mode fiber units convert transmissions from RS485 protocols to optical and vice versa. This enables data to travel further between the SPC expanders, providing the extra distance the client required.

Additionally, our data transceivers provide reliable point-to-point transmission for data signals over one or two optical fibers. The transceivers are transparent to data encoding, which facilitates broad-range compatibility. Every model in the series work with multi- and single-mode optical fiber.

The result

Upgrading critical systems is usually a time-consuming and disruptive process. But with SPC, we were able to provide reliable and resilient communication between the client’s toll booth and control center, right out of the box.

Today, our resilient solution allows the client’s security team to monitor activity in real-time, so they can provide effective security for customers and equipment 24/7.

"[Acre’s solution] came straight out of the box and was easy to use and install. Its threshold is only around four kilometers, but it’s going and working well beyond that.”
– Victor Fields, Precision Security

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