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Technology Working Group Minutes: March 11, 2004

CITY OF FULLERTON
TECHNOLOGY WORKING GROUP
MEETING MINUTES
March 11, 2004
9:00 A.M.

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Burtner called the meeting to order at 9:03 a.m.

ROLL CALL

Members Present:

Tony AndersonDavid BaileyNilo Niccolai
Roger BurtnerNorman ThornPaul Stover
Helen HallJohnson LewDick Bednar

Members Absent:

Robert PortScott Price

Guests:

Stuart Davis, Stellans Technologies
Charles Kalil, City of Garden Grove

APPROVAL OF MINUTES.

Chair Burtner asked for a motion to approve the minutes of 2/19/04. The motion to approve was made by Helen Hall, seconded by Nilo Niccolai and unanimously approved by the members present.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

All Working Group members are invited and encouraged to be present at the City Council meeting at 4:00 p.m. on March 16, 2004, when the proposal to create a wireless mesh network in downtown Fullerton is presented to the Council for funding.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

Garden Grove Wireless

Charles Kalil, Information Manager, City of Garden, described the evolution and implementation of that city's wireless network. Charles' predecessor initiated the installation of a wireless system in 1999 for the purpose of connecting six police substations. Worldwide Wireless, now known as Global Pacific, connected the six sites at a cost of $60,000. The project was eventually canceled. Garden Grove then investigated the possibility of connecting public safety facilities with DSL telephony, but found that the city would have to pay commercial rates. The cost to the police for operating Motorola radios was $65,000 per year. Consequently, a search began for a less expensive solution.

5G Wireless, Marina del Rey, proposed a point-point system utilizing 802.11b technology with data rates of 3.0-3.5 Mbps. An antenna was placed on city hall with reception at all substations. The cost of the system was $9,000 for the main antenna and $1,500 for each substation. All police substations (9) and fire stations (7) are now linked wirelessly. The network runs on Linux with 128-bit encryption. Interference has been a problem at only one fire station and the maintenance yard has experienced some dropout. The signal passes through or around some trees and buildings. Most sites are elevated relative to their surroundings.

Enterprise System Consulting recommended that Alvarion equip the 802.11b system with frequency hopping. With this system it is possible to connect vehicles such as police cars that are moving at speeds up to 60 mph. It is anticipated that it will take 32-40 access points to cover the city with wireless connectivity. The total cost to build out the city is estimated to be $300,000 including the installation of wireless units in vehicles. The cost to equip each police car including installation is about $5,000. Police equipped with PDAs will be able to connect wirelessly to the system and back to headquarters through the units in the police cars.

Bell Gardens and Laguna Beach have similar wireless networks. Westminster has some hot spots. Grant money is available for the construction of wireless infrastructure for public safety.

Request for Funds to Create a Wireless Mesh in Downtown Fullerton

Helen Hall and Paul Stover graciously agreed to be responsible for preparing a PowerPoint presentation in support of the proposal to create a wireless mesh network in downtown Fullerton. Paul and Helen will also make the presentation to the Council. The goal is to obtain redevelopment funds in the amount of $56,000 in order to conduct this pilot project. A wireless system for the Fullerton library is included in the request.

ITEMS FOR NEXT MEETING

Possible presentation by Verilan or Cingular

Next steps regarding wireless implementation for downtown Fullerton

Review of action items

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Stuart Davis, Stellans Technologies, a wireless networking company based in Fullerton and a colleague of Working Group member Johnson Lew, offered to donate equipment and labor to create a wireless network in the Fullerton library. Stellans recently completed installing a wireless network in the Anaheim Hilton. Stuart and Johnson said that in a few hours Stellans could set up the wireless network using excess equipment that it already has on hand. The Working Group expressed its appreciation and referred Stuart to Helen Hall and Al Milo, Library Director, for further discussion of the offer.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business, Chair Burtner asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion to adjourn was made by David Bailey, seconded by Paul Stover and unanimously approved by the members present. The meeting adjourned at 10:25am.

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