Oklahoma City Unveils Wireless Mesh Network For Public Safety

Oklahoma City recently unveiled its wireless network -- the largest city owned and operated municipal Wi-Fi mesh network in the world.

The network is used for public safety and other city operations. At this time it does not provide wireless Internet access to the public.

Tropos Networks president and CEO, Tom Ayers presented a plaque to the Mayor and City Council recognizing the City of Oklahoma City for successfully building and implementing the world’s largest municipal wireless broadband network. Tropos Networks provides the network infrastructure equipment.

The wireless mesh network covers 555 square-mile area with 95 percent service coverage in the city’s core. Wireless Tropos routers are installed on city siren towers, traffic lights, buildings and other places. Tropos’ mobile routers are mounted in city vehicles, extending the network coverage area.

“We’re proud to receive this award and claim this distinction,” Mayor Mick Cornett said. “Our state-of-the-art wireless communication system allows City government to be more efficient and provide a higher level of service to our citizens.”

The wireless network is an extension of the City’s information technology infrastructure. City staff now has access from the field to more than 150 software applications.

Police officers are equipped with a laptop in patrol cars that gives them better access to advance criminal information in real time and allows them to download photos, file reports and even do paperwork in the field. In addition, police officers and fire fighters have access to over 300 video cameras, giving them a real time, around-the-clock, birds-eye view of key locations throughout the city.

Fire battalion chiefs are now able to locate water hydrants, review site maps, building floor plans and hazardous materials information while en route to a fire or accident; enabling them to tell incoming response vehicles how and where to set up.

The Wi-Fi mesh network system took more than two years to implement. Strong security measures and policies the city put in place have worked well protecting the network and meeting performance needs.

“We’ve been so pleased with how the wireless network system has improved the coordination and service delivery in our public safety operations that we’re now using it in other City operations,” City Manager Jim Couch said.

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