Government Fleet Top News

Corpus Christi, Texas, to Deploy Metro-Scale Wi-Fi

August 11, 2004

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — The city of Corpus Christi is deploying Tropos Network's Wi-Fi system for use by the city-owned water and gas utilities, public works departments, and public-safety agencies to increase efficiency and improve communication, according to Government Technology magazine. The first phase of the project will be an 18.5 square-mile test of the system. After that, the city plans complete coverage of the entire 147 square miles of Corpus Christi by March of 2005.The most immediate cost savings will be seen as a result of the automated gas and water meter reading that will use the system to relay automatically generated usage information twice a day from each meter in the coverage area. By eliminating the need for utility personnel to visit each meter and manually record customer consumption, the city will be able to more quickly and accurately provide up-to-date billing information to their service recipients. Additionally, utility customers will have immediate, real-time usage data available to them through a Web-based billing and information system run by the city and automatically updated with each wireless meter polling."We saw an exciting opportunity to simultaneously increase our customer service standards while reducing operating costs," said George "Skip" Noe, Corpus Christi's city manager. "The Tropos system allows us to implement a plethora of communications tools across many city departments. I think we've only scratched the surface of the applications that this system will enable."In addition to the utility applications, the network will be available for use by city public works crews, as well as the Corpus Christi police and fire departments. The public safety agencies, with more than 315 police, fire, and EMS vehicles in their collective fleet, will use VPN (Virtual Private Network) authenticated access to all the applications currently available only in their offices. The city also plans to operate GPS-based asset and vehicle tracking applications over the Wi-Fi network, increasing both officer and community safety.To further minimize costs, Corpus Christi will use existing city fiber for its minimal required wired backhaul connections. Network support costs are minimized via the central management capabilities of the Tropos Control Element Manager, a configuration, monitoring and maintenance tool.

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