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News

Public service and community wireless network for Los Gatos

Firetide : 12 March, 2008  (Application Story)
Firetide wireless mesh enables improved mobile surveillance capabilities for Los Gatos police whilst also enabling improved community connectivity.
The picturesque Town of Los Gatos, located just moments from the heart of California's Silicon Valley, now offers seamless indoor and outdoor wireless connectivity around city facilities to the public and city employees alike. Powered by Firetide, the system combines Firetide wireless mesh nodes and access points providing a cost-effective and flexible solution to this historic, yet high-tech town.

Wireless connectivity currently is available in and around the Town Hall, library, neighbourhood centre, public works facility and the parks adjacent to the Town Hall. The system features multiple virtual access networks, keeping internal city traffic completely secure and separate from the connectivity offered to public users of the network. The next phase of the network will provide wireless access to the Los Gatos/Monte Sereno Police Department over the same physical infrastructure, saving equipment and installation costs. The town is currently outfitting police vehicles with in-car video, and the ability to wirelessly offload video over a secure connection will alleviate the need to manually plug and unplug Digital Video recorders during patrol shift changes.

"In addition to enabling personnel mobility and offering Wi-Fi access to the public, the network delivers other unique benefits, especially with its combination of indoor and outdoor coverage," said Chris Gjerde, information systems manager for the Town of Los Gatos. "We consider the Firetide wireless network to be an important part of our emergency preparedness plans. During the 1989 earthquake our Town Hall became unsafe and we had to set up an emergency operations centre in the car park. With our Firetide network operational in time for a recent emergency drill, we had the same access to critical data whether we were inside or outside of the building."

The capability of the Firetide network to deliver both wireless mesh and access technologies was another important consideration. For example, Los Gatos utilises a wireless mesh connection to extend Ethernet coverage to the second floor of the library building, where 20-inch thick reinforced concrete between floors makes drilling and cabling disruptive and impractical. The combination of a Firetide HotPort mesh node and a HotPoint access point placed on the roof of the library provides indoor coverage to the second floor of the library and in the adjacent outdoor areas.

"The Town of Los Gatos, which Firetide is proud to call home, is a model for other communities considering broadband initiatives to support city services, public safety and public access," said Bo Larsson, chief executive officer of Firetide. "In forward thinking, Los Gatos has chosen to deploy a wireless network that not only meets the needs of its businesses, visitors and residents today, but in the future as well. This is excellent news for town taxpayers, who will not be burdened with Forklift Upgrade costs as the network is expanded to support more applications and deliver even greater value to the community."
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