September 22, 2011
- Tropos Networks, the best-of-breed provider of wireless IP broadband network technology, and Frontier Communications (NYSE: FTR), a provider of advanced communications for residences and businesses, have presented Thomas M. Leighton, Mayor of the City of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, with an “Innovations and Leadership in Public Safety” award. Mayor Leighton helped develop a unique public-private partnership that resulted in the build-out of a wireless broadband network in the city that has been instrumental to improve community safety and spur economic development in Wilkes-Barre.
The award recognizes positive changes that have resulted from the mayor’s vision eight years ago to improve community safety and drive economic development. Tom Ayers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tropos Networks and Jim Bennett, Senior Vice President of Wireless Strategy and Operations of Frontier Communications, presented the award during the weekly Farmers Market held in Wilkes-Barre.
Completed early last year, the network was built and is operated by Frontier and covers approximately 95 percent of the City. The network uses Tropos’ wireless broadband mesh technologies. A single network supports a wide range of services that benefit the community, from public safety to public Internet access. 200-plus DVTel IP video surveillance cameras connected to the Tropos network are used by the police department to expand police “patrol” capabilities in city parks, near public schools, playgrounds, downtown, and high-traffic intersections. The cameras are monitored by the police department, 24 x 7, at a central location. The cameras have been not just a live-monitoring weapon for the police department but the video footage captured by the surveillance system has also aided numerous investigations of alleged assaults, arson, and drug activity.
“Increasing public safety throughout the city has been my number one priority as mayor,”” said Mayor Leighton. “I’m pleased with the substantial progress we’ve made to reduce crime in the city. A safe community is essential to build a vibrant community of thriving businesses, increased job opportunities, and increases in owner-occupied homes. I continue to be encouraged by the progress we have achieved and the direction this city is moving. I look forward to continuing to work with Frontier and Tropos to expand use of the network to improve the quality of life in our community.”
Wilkes-Barre recently started rolling out two additional public safety applications which utilize the wireless network. License plate recognition systems are currently being installed in public parking garages. When complete, these systems will automatically read license plates as vehicles enter garages and run them against a national database which will quickly help to identify stolen vehicles, car registration violations, and other infringements. Police vehicles are being outfitted with laptop computers that will allow them to quickly search reports and databases, view mug shots, and submit reports from their vehicle. In addition, officers will have access to streaming video form the surveillance cameras around town thereby enabling them to view an incident in progress and prepare before they arrive on scene.
The public-private partnership for the network in Wilkes-Barre represents a unique business model that includes Frontier Communications, King’s College, Wilkes University, Luzerne County government, and the City of Wilkes-Barre. In addition to public safety uses, Wilkes-Barre has begun using the network to improve efficient delivery services of other municipal departments. Health and building inspectors have begun using the network to file reports from the field which reduces time for processing and filing of permits and reports. The Wilkes-Barre Area School District also benefits from the network through access to wireless internet within district schools.
“The mayor was a key driver in building the relationship with Frontier that has led to providing the community of Wilkes-Barre with a wide range of services that have had significant positive impact,” said Frank Joanlanne, Vice President and General Manager of Pennsylvania. “We look forward to continuing to work with the city of Wilkes-Barre to find new ways to improve and expand service with the support of Tropos.”
Wilkes-Barre has emphasized economic development as a catalyst for the rebirth of the city. For example, the recent construction of a multi-purpose commercial facility that includes a public ice hockey rink and office space for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and GWC Warranty, Inc. has attracted businesses to the city. Broadband industry analyst and expert, Craig Settles, stated: “Cities and counties that offer broadband infrastructure have an edge in attracting businesses and they need to market these services if they want to attract people and businesses to relocate to the area.”
“We are pleased to recognize Mayor Leighton for his achievements in finding a way to bring to Wilkes-Barre a range of services that have had a positive impact on the community and which are not found in many small cities today,” said Tom Ayers, president and CEO of Tropos Networks. “We look forward to continuing to work closely to support the City and Frontier Communications in Wilkes-Barre.”
About Frontier Communications
Frontier Communications Corporation (NYSE: FTR) is included in the S&P 500 Index offering voice, High-Speed Internet, satellite video, wireless Internet data access, data security solutions, bundled offerings, specialized bundles for small businesses and home offices, and advanced business communications for medium and large businesses in 27 states and with approximately 14,900 employees. It has a 100 percent U.S.-based workforce. Frontier’s landline service is the most reliable, safe and accessible in the markets it serves. More information is available at www.frontier.com and www.frontier.com/ir