• Email
  • Print

Technology Working Group Minutes: September 16, 2004

Technology Working Group Minutes: September 16, 2004

September 16, 2004
9:00 A.M.


Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:04 a.m.


Members Present:

Tony AndersonRoger BurtnerDavid Bailey
Johnson LewNilo NiccolaiNorm Thorn

Members Absent:

Helen Hall Robb Port Paul Stover
Dick Bednar


Nilo Niccolai moved and David Bailey seconded a motion that the minutes for the TWG meeting on May 20, 2004 be approved. The motion was unanimously approved.

Nilo Niccolai moved and Tony Anderson seconded a motion that the minutes for the TWG meeting on June 3, 2004 be approved. The motion was unanimously approved.




Role of Redevelopment Agency in Wireless Implementation

Kay Miller, Fullerton Redevelopment Agency, will take the lead in working with the Downtown Restaurant Association, the Downtown Business Association and the Chamber of Commerce to enlist their support of the wireless network. The TWG is expecting that downtown businesses will be willing to bring the wireless signal into their premises for the use of their customers by purchasing an inexpensive repeater and router that will connect indoor users to the outdoor wireless network. Although the network will be accessible free of charge for the six-month trial period, it is anticipated that business and city support of the nominal operating costs will enable service to be offered free beyond the six-month trial period. The TWG has offered to provide support as necessary, especially in the areas of education and marketing.

Marketing Plans for Wireless Network

Kay Miller has agreed to use all city resources in marketing the wireless network, including articles in city publications and the production of brochures explaining rules of use and how to connect to the network. In January it may be possible to place banners in the downtown area that announce the presence of the network to out-of-town visitors. Articles will be prepared for the local papers and announcements will be made in various publications of the citys educational institutions. Information about the proposed network has already been published in the Chambers Fullerton magazine. A public unveiling ceremony will take place once the system has been adequately tested. Media will be invited to cover the event. The network will have its own portal for users who access it.

Review of Contacts with Vendor Referrals

Norman Thorn presented a slide show of the visit that he and Chair Burtner made to Culver City and described a follow-up meeting with Joseph Hsieh of Wireless Hotspot. These contacts indicate that Wireless Hotspot personnel are relatively inexperienced in designing and installing wireless meshes. The company has installed a total of 18 radios. The installation in Culver City is the first outdoor mesh installed by Wireless Hotspot and does not have the appearance of being very professionally done. Most radios and access points appear to be temporary installations that are jerry-rigged. Rooftop installations which are favored may not be readily accessible if the Fullerton mesh is extended to the south along Harbor. The acceptance tests specified in the Culver City contract were virtually nonexistent and there were no performance guarantees. Wireless Hotspot has been doing a lot of tweaking of the Culver City network and at the time of our visit had only three of five Firetide radios installed. As a result many of the TWG members at the meeting believe that there is considerable risk in continuing to work with Wireless Hotspot to implement the wireless mesh in Fullerton.

Bradley Mayer, IT manager for the City of Chaska, Minnesota, reported that in June 2004 Chaska installed 200 Tropos radios on street lights and plans to install 20 more. They have signed up 2000 subscribers who pay $15.95 per month for wireless service. They built the system to give residents an alternative to paying $40+ per month for DSL or cable modem service. Chaska is serving as its own WISP. The mesh is connected to the Internet via 15 fiber connections and 20 wireless backhaul connections. Bandwidth is typically 500Kbps to 1Mbps for nodes with 2-3 hops to the Internet and about 200-300 Kbps where there are 4-6 hops. As many as 600-800 users may be on the network at one time (or perhaps it is the daily number). There are plans to use it as well for public safety, although that is expected to be a secondary use. Chaska is very happy with the support that Tropos has given them thus far. Tropos had one engineer on-site for 1.5 months during the installation and testing phase. Currently no one is abusing the system and although no one is using it for streaming video, it is possible to limit the bandwidth per user if they do. Chaska selected Tropos because at the time of its choice last spring there were relatively few mesh networking options. Alvarion and Mesh Networks, the other leading providers of mesh networks at the time, had proprietary systems that required that clients purchase proprietary equipment. Although we did not receive a lot of info on the system architecture and performance, Tropos is willing to guarantee 95% coverage with clients using Centrino radios.

Other Steps

Chair Burtner obtained from CDCE a copy of a portion of the contract pertaining to system performance that Tropos executed with the City of Corpus Christi for its major implementation in that city. A copy of the agreement is attached.

Norman Thorn has drafted a set of acceptance tests that the TWG will insist become a part of any contract that is executed by the city. A copy of this draft is attached.

Some members of the TWG expressed concern about the delay in the distribution of minutes for previous TWG meetings. Preparation of the minutes has been delayed for several key meetings because of the large number of TWG meetings and the heavy travel schedule of the TWG Chair who is the person preparing most of the meeting minutes.


  • Review contacts with vendor referrals

  • Review of vendor selection

  • Review of vendor contracts and equipment specifications

  • Other steps




    There being no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion was unanimously approved by the members present. The meeting adjourned at 10:41 a.m.

    Here are some suggested paragraphs for the contract with Wireless Hotspots, and a little bit of reasoning behind them. This has not been reviewed by anyone else on our committee, so we may still have some other changes or additions.

    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.

    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. (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.

    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.

    This is just a first draft. Let me know what you think.

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

    Attachment F: Acceptance Requirements DCD

    Installation and Productive Use

    The installation phase of the project will proceed after the Network Design is completed. The Network Design will define the placement of the Tropos 5110 Wi-Fi Cells. CDCE and Tropos will work with the City to plan the overall network installation. The City will be responsible for the installation of the Wi-Fi cells and connection of the City supplied backhaul. CDCE and Tropos will assist with the configuration of the 5110 Wi-Fi cells and installation of the Tropos EMS network management system

    This document is the high level overview of the delivered system. The installation phase assumes that CDCE and Tropos Networks will assist Fullerton with the design, planning and management of the installation of the Tropos 5110 Wi-Fi cells. Fullerton is responsible for the installation of the network (backhaul), including acquiring access and power rights to mounting locations. CDCE and Tropos must have proper mounting assets to provide the coverage Fullerton is requesting. If during the pilot installation Fullerton cannot get proper mounting assets then the amount of nodes may need to be adjusted. It is assumes that Fullerton can provide mounting assets to any street light, traffic light or City building within the project area. Nine Tropos 5110 Wi-Fi cells have been bid that will provide broad signal coverage for the entire area pilot area. The network can be designed to provide more focused and dense coverage for high use areas as determined by the City. CDCE and Tropos is committing to 95% outdoor coverage of the pilot area as defined by the test script below.

    CDCE & Tropos networks will modify the installation plan as appropriate (e.g. extended sparse coverage plan) to mount equipment on Fullerton designated mounting locations (e.g. City owned traffic signals, street lights, buildings and other facilities). If Fullerton provides the necessary mounting assets and the proposed (9) Tropos 5110 cells do not deliver the 95% outdoor coverage, Tropos will provide the additional necessary nodes at no charge to Fullerton to obtain this coverage. Please note that coverage denotes the ability to see and be seen by the Tropos 5110 cells and does not guarantee throughput on the network.

    Under the terms of the contract, CDCE and Tropos Networks will provide on-site support to plan and coordinate deployment details with the appropriate Fullerton personnel and contractors. CDCE will assist and oversee the implementation effort, jointly developing with Fullertons procedures for pre-configuration of the units, a work order process and installation procedures. CDCE is also responsible for testing of the Pilot Network for coverage. The City is responsible for aggregate system throughput.

    Fullerton will provide:

    1. Overall management of the Pilot Network project.
    2. Personnel with mutually agreed designated responsibilities.
    3. Facility for work area, equipment storage, staging and pre-configuration.
    4. Bucket truck vehicle(s) for mounting the Tropos Wi-Fi cell units.
    5. Other work vehicle(s) as needed.
    6. Mounting assets.
    7. Site access to facilitate installation, maintenance and testing.
    8. Wired Ethernet interfaces at mutually agreed Gateway locations.
    9. Applicable Enterprise Network modifications (e.g. security, configuration, etc.).

    Since mounting asset access has not been finalized, some details of the installation plan will continue to develop, and shall be documented in future revisions to the Network Design.

    Installation and productive use of the pilot shall be considered complete when the units comprising that pilot are:

    1. Physically mounted with proper cabling, grounding and lightening isolation.
    2. Connected to an AC or DC power source.
    3. Configured with a mutually agreed parameter set.
    4. Connected via Gateway(s) to Fullerton provided backhaul.
    5. Accessible from the Tropos Control EMS.
    6. Observed via the EMS to function as a mesh routing cluster or group of clusters.
    7. Support client connectivity within 500 feet of a Tropos Wi-Fi cell, randomly selected by Fullerton, in that specific phase or sub-phase.

    Final System Acceptance

    CDCE will perform final system testing and report the test results to Fullerton for acceptance of the Pilot Network. Testing will be performed from or between established demarcation points in the Pilot Network coverage area. Test demarcation points are defined below.

    CDCE will utilize standard testing tools and procedures to conduct the tests. In the event schedule delays outside of CDCE & Tropos Networks control, preclude timely final system testing of the entire Pilot Network, Fullerton may elect to consider the final system acceptance criteria to be satisfied, so long as the criteria has been satisfied.

    Test Demarcation Points and Hop Count

    The Pilot Network infrastructure will be implemented in two (2) layers distinguished by the communications connectivity each facilitates:

    1. Wi-Fi Cell Layer: Connectivity between a client device and a Tropos Wi-Fi cell and between two or more Tropos Wi-Fi cells.

    2. Backhaul Layer: Connectivity between a Tropos Wi-Fi Gateway cell and a destination wired backhaul network provided by the City. (e.g. Fullerton Enterprise Network, Public Internet, etc.).

    Final system testing will be performed for a representative sample of each layer (Wi-Fi Cell and Backhaul) of the Pilot Network to the established test demarcation points in the Pilot Network coverage area. Mobile 802.11b/g client and end-to-end functional system testing will also be performed to demonstrate session persistence for public safety and public works vehicles and end-to-end connectivity to the enterprise network and the public Internet.

    Pilot Network Target Coverage Area

    The Pilot Network coverage area shall be defined as outdoor ground level coverage. In areas of dense foliage and densely constructed areas (e.g. central business district) tall buildings, roadways and other propagation obstacles, access links are typically distances up to 500 feet. In open areas, access links can be up to 1000 feet with a Centrino processor and up to .25 miles or more with a strong 200 mwatt client card.

    Therefore, the Fullerton Pilot target coverage area will be estimated by a map with:

    1. A 500 foot radius circle centered over each installed Tropos Wi-Fi cell location for a target area defined as a central business district..

    Estimates of the target coverage area will be refined during the installation of Tropos 5110 Wi-Fi cells to account for the presence or absence of obstructions or other factors which may affect access link distances for each installed cell.

    Wi-Fi Client Specification

    The specification for the Wi-Fi client (client) to be used for testing shall have the following performance characteristics:


    1. 802.11b/g Client Device

    2. Transmit Power: minimum 40 mwatts (Centrino processor)

    3. Receiver Sensitivity: less than -85 dBm at 11 Mbps

    4. Receiver Diversity: Yes

    System Functional Tests

    The following functional tests will be performed from 10 geographically distributed locations on the network. For all system functional tests listed below, factors beyond the control of CDCE & Tropos Networks which preclude the test from being performed (e.g. Internet connection outage, VPN Concentrator equipment failure, etc.), shall constitute a waiver for performing the indicated test(s).

    1. 802.11b/g client association with the Pilot Network.
    2. Ping to Tropos 5110 Gateway.
    3. Ping to Tropos Control EMS Server.
    4. Ping to BlueSocket Controller.
    5. Client authentication with BlueSocket controller.
    6. Ping to Internet Site.
    7. Web surf to Internet Site (e.g. www.yahoo.com).

    Coverage Testing

    The proposed set of designated cells for the pilot will be subject to Fullertons approval. A coverage testing grid will be developed based on the final node placement plan. Coverage testing will be performed from stationary sample points with radio line-of-sight and within 500 feet of the designated cells. Designated cells will include a distribution of Gateways and Nodes, and demonstrate coverage in one, two and three mesh hop paths. Coverage results will be reported by generating test result tables and a coverage map of the tested grid areas indicating acceptable (green) or unacceptable (red) for each grid associated with a designated cell. A statistically significant number of samples will be taken in the vicinity of each Test Area Cell for the results to be applied to the entire coverage grid for each Test Area Cell.

    Delivery and Acceptance of Test Report

    The test data shall be assembled in a final acceptance document and delivered to Fullerton for review and acceptance. Delivery of the test report document shall fulfill the criteria for the Final System Acceptance Milestone of the contract.