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Technology Working Group Minutes: April 1, 2004

CITY OF FULLERTON
TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP
MEETING MINUTES
April 1, 2004
9:00 A.M.

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:06 a.m.

ROLL CALL

Members Present:

Tony AndersonScott PriceNilo Niccolai
Roger BurtnerNorman ThornPaul Stover
Helen HallJohnson LewDick Bednar

Members Absent:

Robert PortDavid Bailey

Guests:

Maurice Lemieux, Terabeam

APPROVAL OF MINUTES.

Chair Burtner asked for a motion to approve the minutes of 3/11/04. The motion to approve was made by Helen Hall, seconded by Nilo Niccolai, and unanimously approved by the members present.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

At a meeting of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency on March 16, 2004, the Fullerton City Council, acting as Directors of the Redevelopment Agency, authorized the expenditure of $56,000 of unrestricted redevelopment funds for the purpose of "establishing a wireless [mesh] network for subscribers in the downtown area."

In its Final Report of July 2002, the Technology Infrastructure Task Force recommended the creation of wireless "hot zones" in the redevelopment areas. According to the request for funds, "downtown [Fullerton] offers an opportunity to initiate the program in a compact, mixed-use area that can serve residential and business needs. Benefits of the program will include promotional opportunities for the City and Agency, benefits in recruiting businesses to the area, and convenience to residents." The Agency also included $6,000 in the grant for the purpose of creating a wireless network in both the Main Library and the Hunt Branch.

The Technology Working Group (successor to the Technology Infrastructure Task Force) and the City's Management Information Systems (MIS) staff will coordinate the planning and implementation of the program. The service will be free during the pilot project with a fee-based plan implemented later, possibly based on a public-private partnership between the City, the downtown businesses, and the subscribers.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

Terabeam Free Space Optics and Millimeter Wave Technologies

Maurice Lemieux, Western Region Channel Manager for Terabeam, presented wireless broadband solutions using free space optics (FSO) and millimeter wave (MMW) technologies. Operating at speeds of 100 Mbps to 1.25 Gbps, MMW and FSO systems are cost-effective alternatives to fiber that enable network operators and enterprise customers to achieve high bandwidth connectivity. At a fraction of the cost of fiber and leased-line circuits, wireless fiber solutions can be quickly, easily and safely deployed on rooftops or behind windows in a matter of days.

Telecommunication carriers use unlicensed MMW and FSO systems to extend their networks and access new customers, backhaul traffic on their networks, or deploy high-bandwidth services to consumers. Enterprise customers use these technologies to connect locations that do not currently have access to high-bandwidth services, allowing them to share large files at high data rates. MMW and FSO systems can also be deployed as disaster recovery or redundant links to ensure network integrity during natural disasters, emergencies, or unexpected events.

Free space optics systems carry data through the air over narrow beams of infrared light. Terabeam's FSO systems work in either indoor or outdoor configurations with two transceiver units placed within line-of-sight of one another. Network traffic is converted to infrared light and transmitted through the air. On the other end, specialized lenses and mirrors focus the signal onto a receiver, which converts it back to the original data, and sends it over copper or fiber to the network device. Terabeam's FSO systems are full duplex, which means that the data streams flow back and forth simultaneously over the same transmission path using the same type of equipment and always transmit data at the full rated speed. Infrared light, however, is attenuated by rain and fog so these systems are most appropriate where weather conditions are not likely to produce significant interference or attenuation. Building motion can be compensated for by tracking mechanisms or widening the beam. Data security is enhanced by the narrowness of the beam.

Millimeter Wave radios are high-frequency, high-bandwidth wireless communication systems. MMW systems offer fiber-like performance similar to FSO technologies, with available bandwidth up to 1.25 Gbps. Due to the unique oxygen absorption properties of the 60GHz spectrum, MMW systems are highly secure and are virtually free from interference, even in very dense deployment scenarios. Terabeam's MMW systems work by converting optical signals from the network to radio frequencies that are modulated and transmitted through the air at approximately 60GHz. The receiving radio collects and interprets the signal, then converts it back to an optical signal and sends it over fiber or copper back to the network. Terabeam MMW radios are also full duplex, with data streams flowing back and forth simultaneously over the same transmission path using the same type of equipment. Absorption of the 60GHz signal by oxygen in the atmosphere limits the distance between radios to about 1000 meters.

Scope of Work for Design and Installation of Downtown Wireless Mesh

Working Group members discussed the nature of the wireless mesh network that is envisioned for downtown Fullerton. It was concluded that a Scope of Work document should be prepared that specifies attributes and applications for the wireless mesh pilot project that the City Council has agreed to support with Redevelopment Agency funds.

Chair Burtner will prepare the Scope of Work document. A draft of the Scope of Work document will be sent to all Working Group members for review and comments. The final draft will be used for soliciting proposals from vendors of wireless mesh systems.

ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

Scope of Work pertaining to wireless network for downtown Fullerton.

Next steps regarding wireless implementation for downtown Fullerton.

Review of action items.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

None

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion to adjourn was made by Helen Hall, seconded by Scott Price and unanimously approved by the members present. The meeting adjourned at 10:39 a.m.

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