• Email
  • Print

Technology Working Group Minutes: October 28, 2004

Technology Working Group Minutes: October 28, 2004

October 28, 2004
9:00 A.M.


Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.


Members Present:

Tony AndersonRoger BurtnerDavid Bailey

Members Absent:

Nilo Niccolai Robb Port


Helen Hall moved and David Bailey seconded a motion that the minutes for the TWG meeting on August 12, 2004, be approved. The motion carried.


Norm Thorn and Roger Burtner attended Telecosm 2004 in Squaw Valley, October 19-20, 2004. Telecosm 2004 was organized by George Gilder, Gilder Technology Report, and sponsored by Forbes Publishing (Forbes Magazine). Tropos Networks had a booth at the conference and provided wireless connectivity for the attendees using their outdoor 5110 units, the same ones that will be deployed in Fullerton. Their new 5210 units with 802.11b/g technology will not be available until December/January. Roger and Norm met Ronald Sege, President and CEO of Tropos, at the booth.

Later Ron Sege and Clint McClellan, Senior Director, Strategic Marketing, Qualcomm, gave invited talks to the conference and appeared together on a panel titled WiFi; WiMax; Why Bother? Ron presented numerous cogent arguments as to why WiFi is an important technology that will either co-exist with or perhaps even supplant CDMA 3G. Unlike cellphone technology, WiFi is fast, low cost, and simple to deploy and manage. Initially, about 15 nodes are set up per square mile. It is easily scalable by adding nodes and backhaul to the Internet as usage increases. He likened WiFi development to the open source software community in that thousands of developers are working on WiFi innovations unlike CDMA which is proprietary and largely controlled by one company, Qualcomm. Among some interesting statistics that he cited: Tropos now has over 100 customers, receives on the order of 200 inquiries per month up from 20 per month a year ago, and has been involved in creating 50 public safety networks, although most networks being deployed today are mixed use. Recently, Tropos deployed nearly 300 radios in Chaska, MN, is installing over 1000 radios in Corpus Christi, has been awarded a contract to create a wireless mesh network for public safety over a 400 sq. mi. area around Oklahoma City and is conducting a pilot project for a three square mile area of Philadelphia which is interested in possibly creating a wireless mesh over the whole city.

At breakfast one morning, Norm and Roger found themselves sitting serendipitously next to Douglas Ross who happens to be the Vice President of Business Development for Scientific-Atlanta. Scientific-Atlanta makes many of the set-top boxes for cable TV service. They discussed the possibility of using cable fiber and E-rate funds to provide high bandwidth connectivity to schools. Ross mentioned that Scientific-Atlanta is involved in a similar project with some schools near its headquarters in Atlanta, GA, and will place us in contact with them. He also stated that Adelphia, which is in bankruptcy, owes Scientific-Atlanta a lot of money. As a result, they sit on the creditors committee and have some leverage in getting Adelphia to do things. Douglas Ross suggested that the TWG work with Laurie Kubota, Scientific-Atlanta, whom Roger Burtner had met at the recent FTTP Summit in Ontario, CA, on a project of using existing cable fiber to provide high bandwidth service to schools and government facilities.

At lunch the second day, Norm and Roger found themselves sitting next to John Treeza, CTO and President of Xanoptix, a private firm that recently perfected new technology that integrates electronics and optics resulting in the ability to move massive amounts of data directly from a computer to a fiber network. Xanoptix has developed technology for stacking multiple chips that can simultaneously communicate with fiber optic networks. Treeza pulled from his pocket a bundle of 72 fibers not much larger than an RJ-45 jack that can connect directly to the backplane of a computer and communicate optically with the computer at data rates of approximately 250Gbps.


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 responsibilities of the contracting parties, deliverables, their cost, 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 and revised October 28, 2004.

Members of the TWG agreed that there was no reason to wait for the new Tropos radios that will become available in late December or early January.

Revisions requested in the contract spelled out specifications regarding the Tropos premium level of support and response times and Bluesocket response times and hardware replacement and software updates. CDCE agreed to install, configure and customize the Bluesocket WG-1100. Customization of the captive portal will be done in conjunction with City of Fullerton personnel during the training portion of the project. CDCE also offered to provide at additional cost to the network business partners equipment that will allow the signal of the mesh network to be brought inside buildings. Kits costing no more than $300 will be provided to the City of Fullerton for sale to qualifying businesses.

Payment terms for the network were modified. After installation of the network is complete, Fullerton will be billed for 75% of the cost of the project with payment terms of NET 30 days. The remaining 25% will be due 60 days after the date of invoice.

Review of Implementation Steps and Timetable

It will take about two weeks for the City attorney to review the contract. Installation of the network will begin about three to four weeks after the contract has been signed. Consequently, the network should be in place for testing early in December. A kickoff event for the network could take place almost anytime after Christmas.

CENIC has been providing ISP services to City facilities. Helen Hall learned that CENICs fair use terms preclude them from acting as the ISP for the wireless network. Therefore, a new ISP will have to be found before the network can be connected to the Internet.

Review of Marketing Plans for Wireless Network

Chair Burtner met before the meeting with Kay Miller regarding timing of the rollout of the wireless network. Kay stated that downtown merchants will soon be busy with the Christmas season and will not be willing to spend time learning about the network and implementing their portion of it until after Christmas. In the meantime, it will be important to prepare educational materials such as brochures that will be located in public places and businesses, and marketing materials such as decals for businesses that become network partners, a website, banners, press announcements, articles for local publications, a speakers bureau and a kickoff event. TWG members will be available to assist in the rollout as requested by the City.

Feasibility of creating a limited fiber network



To be determined




Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Tony Anderson made the motion to adjourn and Helen Hall seconded it. The motion was unanimously approved by the members present. The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.