California County Uses Wi-Fi Arrays For Disaster Response

Xirrus Inc. recently announced that the county of San Bernardino in California chose the company’s 802.11n Wi-Fi Arrays as part of the county’s Disaster Response Mobile Connectivity Solution.

The county’s Information Services Department’s Core Solutions and Security Division (CSSD) chose the Xirrus Wi-Fi array to quickly deliver and distribute voice, video and data network access for county, federal and non-profit groups during disaster and recovery operations.

The county recently won an award from the National Association of Counties for this Disaster Response Mobile Connectivity Solution.

“To increase our efficiency and effectiveness during emergencies, we require access to resources available on the county’s network and the Internet,” said Jake Cordova with the county’s Information Services Department. “To provide immediate assistance to those who have been affected by a disaster, it is crucial to establish this capability quickly with the least amount of devices and power possible. Wi-Fi seemed like the perfect technology for our disaster solution, but deploying multiple APs at a command post was slow and created too many points of failure. We needed a reliable wireless appliance that could complement our mobile and easy-to-deploy disaster recovery solution consisting of 12 HP 8510w laptops, a 20 unit Anthro laptop cart, and a APC® 1500 UPS -- that perfect Wi-Fi device was the Xirrus 8-radio Wi-Fi array.

“Adding the Xirrus 802.11n array to our disaster recovery solution has allowed us to become more flexible and provide access to an even greater amount of clients -- it covers a large area while providing stable and reliable network services to our clients.” “The wildfires of 2007 was the first test of our disaster recovery solution,” Cordova said. “The Xirrus array provided the county’s departments, federal and non-profit agencies stationed at the Orange Show Fair Grounds with immediate network connectivity and communications from a network drop. Because the Xirrus Wi-Fi Arrays integrated multiple radios, we were able to customize the four radios for 5GHz and an additional four radios for 2.4GHz -- reducing the interference across the b/g for the numerous agencies utilizing 2.4GHz, while continuing to provide ample network and Internet connectivity across 802.11a was extremely beneficial and provided us an efficient means to assist the residents of our county.”

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