Von: New Orleans Crime -Fighting Wi-Fi Network Is Now The City’s Lifeline
Hurricane Katrina knocked out most wireline and wireless networks in New Orleans, and what it failed to destroy a lack of fuel for backup generators prevented from working. The only network left standing was a Wi-Fi mesh network deployed in the downtown area for surveillance cameras that has been credited with keeping crime down and with bringing residents back.
The network has been reconfigured and now provides free VoIP service in addition to support for a radio network for computer equipment in police cruisers. “VoIP over Wi-Fi was the only chance we had for talking because it is point-to-point and doesn’t rely on sequenced switches like the ones that failed,” says New Orleans CIO Greg Meffert.
The mesh establishes a Wi-Fi cloud over the French Quarter and the downtown business district, and the bandwidth is segmented for public Wi-Fi and public safety.
The unlikelihood that traditional wireline phone companies will rebuild in New Orleans for a prolonged period of time means the mesh network’s law enforcement functionality will probably be maintained indefinitely, according to Meffert.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Network World (03/16/06); Greene, Tim .