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City of Corpus Christi extends use of wireless broadband network for additional community-wide services

Tropos Networks presents award to city leaders for their vision and leadership

December 15, 2009 - Tropos Networks, the leading provider of wireless IP broadband mesh networks used by cities and utilities, will honor City government leaders in Corpus Christi, Texas. Tom Ayers, president and CEO of Tropos, will present City leaders with an award citing their vision and leadership in their use of wireless broadband to benefit the community.

“Going forward, we plan to further leverage the Tropos wireless broadband infrastructure as a key element in improving municipal efficiencies and services as well as economic development,” said Larry Elizondo, Sr., Corpus Christi City Council Member.

In 2005, Corpus Christi became one of the first cities in the nation to deploy a wireless broadband network foundation for municipal services; they selected Tropos’ solution to deploy. Initially, the network was used primarily for Automated Meter Reading (AMR) of water and gas meters. Today, approximately 120,000 residential water and gas meters are read twice daily. The benefits derived from AMR and Tropos include increased accuracy in reading meters – 99.95 percent; the ability to quickly identify meter tampering and open meters; reduced misuse; and significantly lower operational costs.

After rolling out the wireless broadband infrastructure, the city realized that AMR used only a small portion of the network’s available bandwidth. City leaders recognized this as a significant opportunity to leverage the network for a wide range of municipal services.

Additional municipal applications using the Tropos-based wireless broadband network today include virtually all mobile city workers – building inspectors; code enforcement officers; fire inspectors; animal control officers; water and gas utility workers; technical field staff. High-speed access to the network has improved their efficiencies and reduced direct and indirect costs for the City. Prior to the Tropos network, it was too costly to provide all of the City’s mobile workers with a cellular data card. Even those that had a cellular data card were still constrained as many of the bandwidth-intensive applications ran too slowly to be useful. Using the Tropos broadband network today, the full range of applications used by mobile workers can be effectively accessed. These applications include Geographical Information Systems (GIS); Development Services Applications; Workorder Management Systems; and Public Safety Applications.

The City’s Police Department has also begun using the network for connecting IP cameras located around the City to a centrally monitored site to view remote and problem locations, expanding their visibility of the community for their safety.

In addition, the City decided that as a way to give back to the community, they would open the network for community access in select public locations around town. A public-private partnership was established that provides free public Wi-Fi access, Currently there are over 25 Wi-Fi hot zones including the bayfront; community parks; airport; senior centers; and park and recreation centers; and other facilities throughout Corpus Christi, that offer Internet access to the public. Additional public hot zone locations are planned.

“Corpus Christi is very proud to have one of the most digitally progressive communities around the nation” said John Sendejar, External Relations Manager for the City of Corpus Christi. “We are grateful to have a network like this in place and now starting to realize the benefits it has for other government applications.”

“We congratulate Corpus Christi in its success in building upon its vision to use wireless broadband as a foundation for improving community services. They are a great example of the value broadband can provide in building greener, safer, smart communities and utilities,” said Tom Ayers, president and CEO, Tropos Networks.

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