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Hot Spots Cool City Grand Rapids Wireless Broadband Project Presented by Thomas A. McQuillan Information Technology Director City of Grand Rapids What is wireless broadband?

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Hot Spots Cool CityGrand Rapids Wireless Broadband Project

Presented by Thomas A. McQuillanInformation Technology DirectorCity of Grand Rapids

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What is wireless broadband?

Wireless networks use radio waves to set up communication links between devices and the Internet. These devices include.laptops, personal data assistants (PDAs), handheld personal computers, and nearly 1,000 other devices currently on the market.

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How Wireless Broadband Works?

  • Access points connect devices to the network and Internet through radio signals

  • Some of the access points are connected to the Internet by wires. Most will only require access to a power source thought to be readily available on existing utility poles.

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How Wireless Broadband Works?

  • Wireless connections will be available as access points are installed.

  • Similar to a cellular phone network, access points can be combined to provide mobile connectivity anywhere in the coverage area.

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How Wireless Broadband Works?

  • Access points do not need to be mounted on towers; they can be placed on utility poles or buildings.

  • They can even be mounted on City vehicles so that the vehicle becomes part of the network, providing connectivity anywhere within a 300-foot radius ofthe vehicle.

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City Goals

The City does not plan to compete with private business to sell wireless broadband.

The City will deploy a solution using proven technology that is cost effective, self-funded, and will continue to serve our citizens for an extended period

Our goal is to leverage the government’s infrastructure to partner with private providers, community institutions, businesses, and community organizations to:

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Benefitsof a Wireless Network

  • Enhance Public Safety by dramatically increasing the information available to mobile police officers and fire fighters

  • Reduce the digital divide with affordable high-speed broadband service

  • Improve service delivery to residents and reduce the cost of government

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Benefits of a Wireless Network

  • Provide an economic development tool to attract and retain business

  • Facilitate wireless technology use for citizens and visitors

  • Create a seamless wireless infrastructure to attract and retain young professionals

  • To establish a wireless broadband network without a burden on taxpayers.

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G.R.’s Hot Spot Cool City Initiative

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell outlined his vision for bringing a wireless broadband network to our community.

City Manager, Kurt Kimball assigned a team to research wireless technology, best practices, funding models, and applications.

A City staff team was assigned to research wireless technology, best practices, funding models, applications, and what other cities are doing.

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The City sought proposals from wireless technology providers that were prepared to install and operate a ¼ square mile wireless demonstration network for eight weeks, at their expense, for technology comparison, testing, and evaluation purposes.

There were:

  • 47 letters of intent

  • 13 proposals

  • 10 providers

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Cityand its Partners Provide

  • Broadband connectivity

  • Power (vendor responsible for connection)

  • GIS maps of the assigned demonstration network area

  • Demographic information for the assigned demonstration network area

  • Access to utility poles and City-owned buildings

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Vendor Responsibilities

  • Vendors incur all costs other than those assigned to the City

  • The City is "held harmless"

  • Proof of insurance is required:

    • General Liability: per occurrence limit $1,000,000

    • Workers Compensation: statutory limits

    • Auto: $1,000,000 combined single limit, including hired/non-owned liability

  • Vendors provide wirelessnetwork management software.

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Splash Page

  • Consistent Header & SSID

  • Acceptable Use


  • Content

    • MLive

    • TV13

  • Survey

  • Contact Us

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Built upon strong Advanced Encryption Standard-Counter Mode/ CBC-MAC Protocol (AES-CCMP )-based encryption, 802.11i avoids the initialization vector and Message Integrity Check flaws that doomed the WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy security standard.

By relying on AES-CCMP, a block cipher, 802.11i ensures not only that the packet data payload is encrypted but also that selected packet header fields are protected.

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City of Grand RapidsWireless Evaluation and Engineering Consultant

Bill Stark, President

Excelsio Communications

6825 Shiloh Road East, Suite B3

Alpharetta, GA 30005


[email protected]

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Business Model Continuum

  • City owned and Privately Operated

  • St. Cloud, FL

  • Chaska, MN

  • Corpus Christi, TX

  • Cooperative Wholesale

  • Philly

  • Privately Owned; City Supported

  • Walla Walla, WA

  • Atlanta WiFi

  • Minneapolis, MN

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  • Federal

    • Senator John McCain, R-Ariz.

    • Senator Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J.

  • State

    • House

    • Senate

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You need:

  • A Vision and Passion

  • Elected and Executive Leadership

  • A Committed Team

  • Collaboration/Partners

  • A Business Model/Funding Source

  • Legislation Supporting Wireless Broadband Deployment

  • Sustainability