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TWG Minutes - May 17, 2007

CITY OF FULLERTON

TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP

MEETING MINUTES

May 17, 2007

9:00 A.M.

CALL TO ORDER
Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m.

ROLL CALL

Members Present

Roger Burtner, Chair            Helen Hall

Mike Carter                            Madusha Palliyage


Tony Anderson arrived after roll call.

                                                                                                                       

Members Absent

Fred Canfield                        Robert Port

Steve Giano                          Carl Samantello

Larry Iboshi                            Paul Stover, Vice Chair

Cameron McCune

 

Guest:  Rob McIntosh, Information Systems Manager, City of Anaheim       

 
Chair Burtner declared that a quorum existed.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

Chair Burtner asked if there were any corrections to the minutes of March 8, 2007.  With no corrections to be made, Helen Hall moved that the minutes be approved.  Mike Carter seconded, and the minutes were approved unanimously.

 

It was noted that there were only two members present who were in attendance at the March 29 meeting, so approval of the minutes for the March 29, 2007, meeting was postponed to the next meeting of the TWG.

 

DISCUSSION ITEMS

 

Anaheim Citywide Wireless Network

 

Chair Burtner introduced guest speaker Rob McIntosh, who would be presenting to the TWG a report on the City of Anaheim's experience with Earthlink in developing a citywide wireless network.

 

Mr. McIntosh provided a brief history of the RFP process.  Earthlink was the only company that responded to the RFP.  In order to keep subscription fees low the City did not want to charge a franchise fee.  Earthlink pays only $1 per month per streetlight to which its radios are attached.  The City supplies power through the city-owned electric  utility.  Implementation of the system began in early 2006, and is nearly 80% complete.  The area remaining is Anaheim Hills.  Earthlink installed the system, manages it, and provides technical support.  The city has no involvement.  Anaheim purchased 250 subscriptions for city access, to be utilized by public safety, building inspectors, code enforcement inspectors, utilities, for which the city pays $10 per month to Earthlink for each subscription.  This equates to about $30,000 per year, which is far less than the revenue streams or cost of services that other cities are now being asked to guarantee for city-wide wireless networks built by vendors such as MetroFi, AT&T, and others.

 

Mr. McIntosh stated that although Anaheim purchased subscriptions for public safety, the city is still waiting for approval by CLETS (California Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems).  Every police agency is required to apply to CLETS.  Ms. Hall noted that CLETS has very strict requirements as to how law enforcement uses wireless, and if their standards and requirements, which include encrypting data at multiple levels, are not met, approval will not be granted. 

 

Mr. McIntosh indicated Anaheim was looking at other options for the police department, such as the air cards that Fullerton is using, and NetMotion software to protect officers from going into dead spots and losing their screens, especially at those times when they move outside the wireless mesh network.  He noted that Anaheim had purchased 250 Panasonic Toughbooks, 160 to be installed in police vehicles and the other 90 to be used by officers. 

 

He further indicated that Anaheim is using Tropos 802.11b/g radios with Motorola Canopy for the backhaul in their wireless system.  Installation includes about 35 units per square mile, with the radios mounted on streetlights.

 

Mr. McIntosh pointed out that there were a few lessons learned during the installation process, which included:  1) start early with the permit process – getting all the permits, rights-of-way, traffic control, etc., which are required before installation can begin; 2) get contracts with hotels and buildings to gain access points; 3)  familiarize yourself with the inspection process.  

 

Chair Burtner asked about upgrades to the system.  Mr. McIntosh indicated that they would be doing a firmware upgrade this month, and later in the year they would start looking at hardware upgrades because technology is changing.

 

Ms. Hall asked if they were committed to Tropos or possibly looking at another supplier.  Mr. McIntosh indicated there are other vendors out there, such as Cisco or Alvarion, and stated that he believed it was important to stay with a major vendor in order to get the support needed to maintain the system.

 

Prior to Earthlink’s installation of the WiFi 802.11b/g, the City of Anaheim had started to install an 802.11a network for city use.  That system did not meet expectations so Anaheim also began to install a separate 4.9GHz network along major streets for the use of public safety.  Anaheim is using Alvarion equipment for the 4.9GHz frequency which has been dedicated by the FCC for public safety.  The air cards in the laptops will permit the unit to access whichever network, 802.11a, 802.11b/g, or 4.9GHz provides the strongest signal. 

 

Chair Burtner noted that he had recently learned that Earthlink is pulling back on new installations and concentrating on existing ones – the implication being that perhaps they were not realizing the subscription rates they had anticipated.  Mr. McIntosh did not doubt that was true, because there are more and more options becoming available to people.

 

Mr. McIntosh suggested that Fullerton consult with Earthlink to find out what they might have to offer, noting that it did not cost the City of Anaheim anything, but that Earthlink would need access to the streetlights.  Mr. McIntosh offered to provide contact information to the TWG as needed.

 

ACTION ITEM

 

Fullerton Wireless – Increase bandwidth for all users

After a brief discussion regarding bandwidth for registered users and guest users of Fullerton Wireless, it was decided that Fullerton IT Manager would increase the bandwidth for guest users to 300K.  Ms. Hall noted that guest users typically need less, compared to the 500K for registered users who have a higher use frequency.

 

ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

To be determined. 

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS

None

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

None.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

With no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn.  The motion to adjourn was made by Tony Anderson and seconded by Mike Carter.  The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 a.m. with unanimous approval. 

 

The next meeting date will be announced at a later time.

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