Public safety broadband wireless networks go broader

     Most public safety agencies have heard about the important role broadband wireless networking and video security cameras played in supporting recovery efforts following the Minneapolis bridge disaster in August 2007. A handful of cameras were...

Minneapolis today

     Since that summer of 2007, Minneapolis has essentially completed its 54-square-mile citywide wireless network supporting both Wi-Fi and 4.9 GHz access on one mesh network. Minneapolis is consistently and deservedly presented as a role model for other cities for its leadership in technology and its innovative public/private business model. But the Minneapolis network deployment was not without challenges. On more than one occasion, completion was delayed due to the logistics of deployments in "challenge areas," so named because of the challenge of locating or obtaining permission to use specified identified poles to mount the required outdoor wireless equipment.

     As lessons are learned and more 4.9 GHz and Wi-Fi broadband wireless networks are deployed to support more applications for more public safety personnel, the results speak for themselves.

     Stephen Rayment is chief technology officer at BelAir Networks. He can be e-mailed at or visit

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