Honeywell and Ponca City Create Mobile Community That's Reliable, Safer and More Productive
Successful Wireless Broadband Pilot Paves the Way for City-Wide Deployment MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 11
MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 11 (AllPayNews.com) -- Honeywell (NYSE: HON) today unveiled a city-wide wireless broadband network for Ponca City, Okla., that will support a range of applications to benefit the community. The infrastructure project, funded through a cooperation of city departments,
builds on a successful pilot program conducted in several residential and business areas. It will help the city improve public safety and increase efficiencies for its departments, in addition to providing businesses and citizens with high-speed Internet access.
"Our goal is to be one of the most mobile communities in America, and this is a significant step in that direction," said Homer Nicholson, mayor of Ponca City. "Seventy-five percent of the city staff perform duties outside an office. So this network is an important productivity tool for our employees.
And the enhanced communications mean improved safety and service for our residents, and reduced costs for the city."
Under the contract, Honeywell will implement a broadband mesh network -- comprised of more than 490 wireless nodes and gateways from Tropos Networks -- that will provide coverage for approximately 30 square miles of Ponca City. The mesh network offers the city reliability and redundancy through its
"self-healing" capabilities; meaning if one radio node becomes unavailable, the network automatically routes wireless signals to a different node, ensuring uninterrupted service.
Nearly every city department, including police, fire and emergency, parks and recreation, public works, and energy, will have applications to leverage the new network. Once online, city workers will gain remote access to programs, files and information, which will help the city improve safety and security, expedite reporting, reduce paperwork, and improve communications.
For example, the city is installing wireless video cameras in police vehicles so precinct dispatchers and supervisors can monitor activities during traffic stops, and quickly deploy additional officers and resources if necessary. Ponca City will be the first city in the nation to provide this added level of monitoring and protection for its force. Police officers can also instantly connect to online databases when making a routine traffic stop to check for outstanding warrants or whether the vehicle is stolen -- further increasing officer and public safety.
"We had been exploring various wireless options for more than five years," said Craige Baird, technology services director for Ponca City. "When Honeywell combined its installation and service expertise with the Tropos technology, we knew this was the right solution. It met all our requirements
for public safety, as well as the rest of our departments."
Other potential uses for the broadband network: Emergency responders can send vital information from the ambulance to the emergency room so doctors can begin advising on trauma care and better prepare for patients to arrive. And building inspectors can quickly access records and input data into their
laptops while working in the field to generate permits without traveling back to the office -- reducing fuel costs and increasing site inspections per day.
The network will also extend the city's existing voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone system. As a result, city staff will be able to use IP-based phones in areas where cell phone coverage is poor. In addition, the city is offering residents and business in the coverage area free high-speed
Internet access, which has not been available in many parts of the city even as a paid service.
"The applications for this network are nearly limitless," said Gary Martin, city manager for Ponca City. "This project will improve our ability to better serve the community. It gives us an advantage as we attract new business to the area, boosting our economic development efforts."
The broadband network is currently online. Honeywell and Ponca City are working on a second phase of the project, which will expand the network and wireless coverage to more than 430 square miles, including hard-to-reach areas such as Lake Ponca and Kaw Lake.
"Using innovative technology to create safer, more secure and productive environments is a cornerstone of our work," said Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. "Having city-wide wireless broadband puts Ponca City in a select league, making the city a better place for people to live and
do business, and creating a foundation for a more connected future."
This project builds on Honeywell's recent utility-metering and energy-efficiency program for Ponca City, which is expected to reduce energy use by 10 percent, increase water revenue and save the municipality an estimated $1.3 million in annual operating costs.
Honeywell International is a $38 billion diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For additional information, please visit http://www.honeywell.com. Honeywell Building Solutions is part of the Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions business group, a global leader in providing product and service solutions that improve efficiency and profitability, support regulatory compliance, and maintain safe, comfortable environments in homes, buildings and industry. For more information about Building Solutions, access http://www.honeywell.com/buildingsolutions.
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