Texas City Uses Wireless IP Video For Crime Prevention Network

BridgeWave Communications recently announced the city of Southlake, Texas has selected the company's FE80U point-to-point wireless links to provide the backbone for its crime prevention video network. The solution provides ample capacity for the IP video surveillance system, while offering expandable bandwidth to meet emerging public safety applications. The “future-proof” BridgeWave links provide full-rate 100 Mbps backhaul capacity with software-key field upgradeability to full gigabit Ethernet capacity without time-consuming and expensive hardware upgrades.

The city of Southlake, a suburb of Dallas/Fort Worth, has gained national recognition for its old-style town square, which serves as a community hub with plazas, restaurants, shops and public areas. To ensure a safe and secure downtown, the city decided to deploy an advanced yet unobtrusive IP video surveillance solution to increase the police force’s ability to detect, investigate and prevent crime.

Initially, the plan was to link the cameras to the city’s existing network using fiber-optic based services, but fiber wasn’t deployed to all the buildings on the square and digging up new sidewalks and streets to lay conduit wasn’t an option. Wireless quickly became the most effective and economical connectivity solution.

A high-capacity wireless networking solution was needed to ensure high quality, high frame-rate video transmission, enabling police officers to easily discern license plates of vehicles entering and exiting two parking garages as well as monitor high traffic areas near a movie theater and a Barnes & Noble store. Ultra-low latency was another major requirement for ensuring real-time pan, tilt and zoom camera control. A licensed solution was preferred for additional security and to avoid the interference concerns associated with license-free wireless systems.

With assistance from Redmoon Inc., a wireless solutions provider based in Plano, Texas, Southlake created a high-capacity wireless backbone, built with BridgeWave field-upgradeable 80 GHz wireless links.

“In sizing up the city’s various connectivity challenges and criteria, it was clear that gigabit wireless was the best alternative to fiber,” said Bryan Thompson, CEO for Redmoon. “BridgeWave is the gigabit wireless market leader. Their products have ultra-low latency and are by far the most stable and reliable links out there.”

The first phase of the implementation included BridgeWave’s backhaul links and 32 Sony IP video cameras. Planning for the next phase, adding another 27 cameras is underway. Southlake initially expected to be able to accommodate up to 100 cameras on its backhaul network, yet now has the capacity to support five times that number. The city will be able extend IP video surveillance to public parks as well as public works facilities, which will address Homeland Security requirements in 2009.

With BridgeWave’s “future-proof” solution, Wi-Fi mobility can also be added to support ubiquitous video delivery, as Southlake has enough scalable bandwidth to transmit video to terminals in police cars, handheld PDAs or Windows mobile phones.

“Our resilient high-speed wireless network can grow along with our ever-expanding public safety initiatives to strengthen the overarching sense of security throughout the community,” said Wade Goolsby, police chief for the city of Southlake. “As a result of BridgeWave’s ‘future-proof’ wireless links and IP video innovation, Southlake’s downtown area is becoming a model for highly efficient and effective public safety.”

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