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Downtown Fullerton Wireless Network:
Scope of Work

FullertonWireless is a free wireless service of the City of Fullerton and its business community that provides Internet connectivity to visitors in downtown Fullerton.

Executive Summary
The Redevelopment Agency for the City of Fullerton has authorized a pilot project to create a wireless mesh network in a 24-block area of downtown Fullerton. The mesh network is to be based on current standards-based technology. Access will be offered free of charge to visitors to the downtown area of Fullerton during the pilot project phase. The Internet must be accessible wirelessly in all outdoor areas of the downtown specified in the Scope of Work. Businesses must also have the option and the ability to extend coverage indoors with additional equipment.

If the pilot project is successful, consideration will be given to expanding the network into other areas of the City where many other institutions and agencies are likely to become major beneficiaries and supporters. Consequently, the wireless mesh network in downtown Fullerton must be designed with the capability of being able to support many additional potential users and applications.

A network that is owned by the City and/or a public-private partnership must be a turn-key installation that can be operated and maintained by a third party. We would like to initiate the trial of the wireless network in the downtown area beginning July 1, 2004 and continuing for at least six months.

Background
At a meeting of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency on March 16, 2004, the Fullerton City Council acting as Directors of the Redevelopment Agency, authorized the creation of "a wireless [mesh] network for subscribers in the downtown area".   In its Final Report of July 2002, the Technology Infrastructure Task Force recommended the creation of wireless "hot zones" in the redevelopment areas. According to the request for funds, "downtown [Fullerton] offers an opportunity to initiate the program in a compact, mixed-use area that can serve residential and business needs." A wireless network will "provide promotional opportunities for the City and Agency, [including] recruitment of businesses to the area, and convenience to residents." The Agency also authorized the creation of a wireless network in both the Main Library and the Hunt Branch. This Scope of Work document, however, will pertain only to the pilot project for downtown Fullerton.

The Technology Working Group (successor to the Technology Infrastructure Task Force) and the City's Management Information Systems (MIS) staff will coordinate the planning and implementation of the program. Access to the network will be free to visitors to downtown Fullerton during the pilot project with a fee-based plan implemented later; possibly based on a public-private partnership between the City, the downtown businesses and the subscribers.

Mesh Network Technology
The wireless mesh network is to be based on current, wireless, standards-based technology. Serious consideration should be given to incorporating non-proprietary hardware and open source software in the network. Many small start-ups have fabricated standards-based equipment with proprietary features. The City does not want to be exposed to the risk of being responsible for equipment that is no longer supported by a vendor that has gone out of business.

Area of Mesh Network Coverage
The area to be included in the pilot project is the portion of Redevelopment Zone 2 bounded on the north by Chapman Avenue, on the east by Lemon Street, on the west by Highland Avenue and on the south by the railroad tracks. Also to be included is the area west of Highland that is bounded on the north by Amerige Avenue, on the west by Richman Avenue and on the south by the railroad tracks. This 24-block area includes government facilities such as City Hall, the police headquarters, senior center, and the Main library. It also includes the Boys and Girls Club, many restaurants, a major transportation center, small retail shops, small office buildings, banks, and urban apartment buildings with mixed-use development. Bordering the main area on the northeast is Fullerton High School and Fullerton College, both of which are interested in the deployment of wireless networks. The Internet must be accessible wirelessly in all outdoor areas of the downtown specified above. Businesses must also have the option and the ability to extend coverage indoors with additional equipment.

Operation and Maintenance of the Mesh Network
During the pilot project phase, access to the mesh network will be free to all users. Responsibility for the subsequent maintenance and operation of the network has not yet been determined, but because the purpose of the network is to promote the downtown by drawing persons and businesses to the area, we envision a public-private partnership between the City, the downtown businesses, and the users that will support the continued operation and maintenance of the network. If the pilot project is successful and the mesh network is expanded into other areas of the City, other institutions and agencies such as public safety, educational institutions, and medical centers are likely to become major beneficiaries and supporters. Police, firemen, and city workers in the field are likely to use the system for remote access to data files. Video surveillance for secure locations, certain public areas and traffic monitoring and control are other possible uses. The network may also be used to connect outlying government facilities such as fire stations and the city maintenance yard with City Hall and to provide redundancy to existing wireline networks. A network that is owned by the City and/or a public-private partnership must be a turn-key installation that can be operated and maintained by a third party.

Expandability and Scalability of the Mesh Network
The wireless mesh network must be expandable and scalable. The pilot project if successful may be only the first of several phases that result in major expansion of the network. Consequently, it will probably need to support multiple portals (downtown Fullerton, Fullerton College, school district, CSUF, SCCO, St Jude, etc.), multiple virtual private networks (VPNs), and a wide variety of applications and users. A plan for the pilot project should be considered to be a subset of a more generalized wireless masterplan for the whole city that addresses Quality of Service (QOS) issues. The plan will also need to address the security concerns of the various user groups.

Use by General Public
Billing systems are a significant cost of operating telecom networks. Therefore, it would be desirable in the interest of simplicity and cost to make access as free as possible for all users. Conceptually, we may wish, if possible, to make access free to the public in only certain zones and place restrictions on the minutes of use. For example, in the downtown area the public might be limited to 2 hours of free use per device within a 24-hour period. Other zones, such as those covering educational institutions, may also want to provide free use to students, faculty, staff, and the public, but for more extended periods of time. If possible, priority of use by the general public should be given lower priority than use by public safety agencies.

The network must have some type of mechanism for recording the number of users at any given time and the length of use per connection. It may be necessary to monitor other parameters of use as well such as the intensity of bandwidth usage per person. Because it may be necessary to block users who are abusing the system, an Acceptable Use Policy will need to be developed and accepted by those who log onto the network.

Use by Businesses
Many of the businesses in the downtown area are unlikely to have extensive knowledge of the potential benefits of a wireless mesh network. Downtown businesses should be consulted regarding their participation and applications. An educational campaign may need to be conducted. Businesses may need to be convinced and provided assistance in installing access points within their establishments.

Period of Trial
We would like to initiate a trial of the wireless network in the downtown area beginning July 1, 2004 and continuing for a period of at least six months.

Marketing Program
The City is prepared to use its normal communication channels to invite citizens and visitors to use the wireless mesh network. The Chamber of Commerce has been supportive of bringing new technology to the City and will promote the network in its publications. A speakers' bureau can be created to make individuals available to community organizations that would like to hear about the network. Informative signage may also be posted in the downtown area.

Contact 

Helen Hall
City of Fullerton
303 W. Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92832
714-738-5309
Email:
HelenH@ci.fullerton.ca.us

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