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Technology Working Group Minutes: October 14, 2004

Technology Working Group Minutes: October 14, 2004

October 14, 2004
9:00 A.M.


Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:03 a.m.


Members Present:

Tony AndersonRoger BurtnerDavid Bailey
Johnson LewNilo NiccolaiNorm Thorn

Members Absent:

Paul Stover


Robb Port moved and Helen Hall seconded a motion that the minutes for the TWG meeting on July 19, 2004, be approved. The motion carried. Robb Port moved and Norm Thorn seconded a motion that the minutes for the TWG meeting on August 2, 2004, be approved with the correction that David Bailey was in attendance. The motion carried. Tony Anderson moved and David Bailey seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the TWG meeting on September 23, 2004. The motion carried.


Representatives of CDCE/Tropos will be meeting with the TWG this morning to review contract terms. Joseph Hsieh, Wireless Hotspot/Firetide, has also notified Chair Burtner that he will be attending as a member of the public.

Norm Thorn introduced Jere Greene, a Fullerton resident who has an interest in telecommunications.


Review of Contacts with Vendor Referrals

No discussion

Review of Draft Contract with CDCE/Tropos

Mike Contois, Brian Solomon, and Derek Williams, CDCE Mobile Computing, appeared before the TWG to review the proposed contract for deployment of the wireless mesh network in downtown Fullerton. The scope of the project, including roles and responsibilities of the contracting parties, deliverables, their cost, warranties, acceptance tests, design services and documents, etc., are included in the document City of Fullerton, Wi-Fi Solution for Mobile Wireless Data Network dated October 13, 2004. Norm Thorn proposed network acceptance tests that are to be included in the contract. He also defined roles and responsibilities for the vendor and customer that will be included in the contract. A copy of his document is attached.

TWG members reiterated the need for the installation to be a turn-key solution. However, it must be possible to customize the captive portal. It remains to be determined if the City can supply a bucket truck for mounting Tropos radios on light poles. Tony Anderson was emphatic that Apple laptops be able to connect to the network because elementary students are being supplied with iBooks with wireless connectivity. CDCE/Tropos assured him that they would be able to do so and Tony later was able to obtain connectivity between Apple iBook laptops and the Tropos network in Cerritos.

Chair Burtner, Helen Hall, Norm Thorn and Mike Contois will be responsible for forging a contract that is acceptable to all parties. TWG members were asked to submit suggestions and comments regarding the contract to Chair Burtner and Helen Hall.

Review of Implementation Steps and Timetable

No discussion

Review of Marketing Plans for Wireless Network

No discussion


To be determined

    Review of contract with CDCE/Tropos
    Review of implementation steps and timetable
    Review of marketing plans
    Feasibility of creating a limited fiber network


Joseph Hsieh, Wireless Hotspot/Firetide, expressed how disappointed he and his firm were in the action that the TWG took on September 23, 2004, to rescind its motion of August 2, 2004, to work with Wireless Hotspot/Firetide in deploying a wireless mesh network in downtown Fullerton. Mr. Hsieh asked on behalf of his firm and Firetide to be given the reasons for the rescission. Helen Hall initially responded by informing Mr. Hsieh that the action of the TWG to rescind its motion of August 2, 2004, was properly taken and legal because no contract had been signed with Wireless Hotspot/Firetide. Deliberations of the TWG pertaining to this topic were held in sessions announced to the public and open to public comment. Chair Burtner described the process and timetable by which the TWG decisions were made over the past two months. He also reminded Mr. Hsieh that in response to a phone call from Mr. Hsieh shortly after he had been informed of the rescission, Chair Burtner verbally described the many reasons for the rescission. Chair Burtner also referred Joseph Hsieh to the minutes of the TWG meetings for the months of July, August, and September 2004, which document the sequence of events, the actions taken, and the reasons for the actions.


There being no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Helen Hall made the motion to adjourn and Norm Thorn seconded it. The motion was unanimously approved by the members present. The meeting adjourned at 10:35 a.m.

Here are some suggested paragraphs for the contract with our selected wireless vendor, and a little bit of reasoning behind them.

As a government entity, it is imperative that we make sure what we do is completely legal and safe. The FCC regulations part 15c requires that all WiFi transmitter and antenna combinations be tested and approved by the FCC prior to use. The vendor is the expert, and needs to stand behind their design.

Legal Compliance : The vendor will provide a copy of the "FCC Grant of Authorization" for "fixed multipoint operation" or similar FCC authorization for the specific type of communications being performed, for all equipment prior to placing the equipment on the air. The vendor will be responsible for correcting any violation of FCC rules and guidelines in effect at the time of installation, even if these violations are discovered at any time after installation.

Our committee is not the final authority on what can be done within the City. Any change that may affect the appearance of the City must be approved by the City Manager, the Planning Commission, and possibly even the City Council. This could require some camouflaging of the wireless equipment to make it more attractive, or selecting alternate mounting locations.

City Approvals: The vendor will work with any and all necessary departments or bodies to obtain approvals of the appearance, structural or other issues involved in the deployment. All such approvals should be obtained prior to purchasing equipment or beginning work on the project. If such approvals cannot be obtained, this contract may be cancelled or re-negotiated.

We also need to make sure that standard building codes are followed. Mounting antennas on rooftops is a particular concern due to the liability if an antenna blew off during a strong wind, or potential damage to the building itself:

Mounting: All mounting hardware designs are to be approved in advance by the City Engineer. Vendor will obtain City permits for each installation location. Final signoff on all permits will be required before acceptance tests are performed.

The vendor will work within the building owner and/or tenant's access limitations, such as times of day allowed. Vendor will provide and be responsible for their own tools. Data cables crossing rooftops or along exposed walls must be in conduit to prevent physical damage and lightening dangers. All sites must be properly grounded for lightening protection per NFPA and ANSI standards. All cables must be designed for outdoor use (waterproof and UV protection). Vendor will be responsible for any damage caused to public or private property during the installation or maintenance of the system.

The FCC also has strict regulations on RF exposure. This usually requires distance restrictions from an antenna to any potential person.

RF Exposure: The vendor will ensure that antennas will be mounted in such a way that the FCC guidelines on power exposure cannot accidentally be exceeded for anyone visiting or working in the area.

To verify that the network is performing properly, we should test the system under load. This type of testing is often referred to as a Network Stress Test. It is the equivalent of having your Cat 6 cables certified when they are installed, to prove that they perform as specified.

Network Stress Test: The vendor will demonstrate that each access point can support 32 simultaneous users with an average throughput of 56Kb/s from each user in the field to the Internet (with no load on any other access points). This totals 1792Kb/s, which is well below the claimed capability of the wireless system or a high speed DSL line. If the City provides a data line with less that 3Mb/s download capability, the average throughput required will be reduced to an aggregate of 80% of the line speed as tested by an online service such as www.dslreports.com. These tests should be run from street level within the covered area, at several points along the sidewalk designated by the City.

This testing can be done by the vendor with software products that generate multiple independent connections, by outside vendors, or with hardware products, such as the Emulation Engine from www.cmc.com. (This particular product will test up to 64 simultaneous connections, and is less expensive than a Cat 6 certifier used by cable installers.)

We are interested in testing this system with our City vehicles while they are in the area. If this is successful, it may lead to future projects.

Roaming: The vendor will demonstrate that a user can roam from one access point to another without having to re-connect, and with no more than a 5 second transfer time. This should work when driving at not more than 30 MPH, anywhere in the covered area.

Encryption: Vendor should demonstrate how to set up and operate a secured wireless access channel using AES encryption for Police and other city vehicles. Detailed written instructions of the installation process will be provided.

We want to make sure users can easily pick up the signal and connect within the designated areas. To this end, we would like to ensure that the transmit signal levels and the receive sensitivity are adequate for our users.

Transmitter Test: Signal strength should be at least -70dbm at 95% of the outside street level locations within the coverage area, with none of the most popular areas below this level. The City will define these most popular areas. This can be measured by a Centrino laptop using NetStumbler or similar software.

Receiver Test: A Centrino based laptop with a built-in 802.11b chip, should be able to maintain an 11Mb/s connection at 95% of the outside street level sidewalk locations within the coverage area, with none of the most popular areas below this level.

Compatibility: The vendor should demonstrate that the system can connect to all common wireless adapters, including Linksys, Apple, Netgear, Cisco, and Centrino, without need to modify an existing IP address.

This will probably be addressed by helping to setup laptops for City residents at the kickoff.

Kickoff: Vendor will provide at least two technicians and equipment to help citizens connect during a 6 hour kickoff party, at the time and place (within the designated area) scheduled by the City.

Obviously, the warranty and ongoing support are important to us.

Warranty: Equipment will be covered by a one year replacement guarantee. Replaced parts will be pre-configured by the vendor and ready to plug in.

Training: Vendor will provide 16 classroom hours of training to City personnel in the operation and maintenance of the system. All routine maintenance procedures, such as adding new internal users or clearing logs will be documented in writing.

Support Contract: Support coverage will be from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, with a 4 hour maximum response time. Support will include of an unlimited number of phone calls for questions or dial-in changes. It will include diagnosis and resolution of any problems encountered. This includes but is not limited to any problems with users misusing the system, or city personnel not properly using the software. The resolutions may be done remotely or on site, depending on the problem. If the problem cannot be resolved remotely within 48 hours, a technician will be dispatched to the site.
Turn Key System: This will be a Turn Key system, which will be fully functional with very little ongoing support form the City.

Norm Thorn
Registered Communications Distribution Designer (BICSI)
Certified Information Systems Security Professional (ISC2)
Cell: (714) 240-2635