How future-proof fiber-based IT infrastructures benefit municipalities
In today’s information technology (IT) environment, city and county governments are facing complex decisions to meet evolving technology demands. IT professionals are tasked with ensuring that network infrastructure is simple, secure, and scalable, all while meeting the needs of city or county programs, such as traffic systems and emergency operations centers. A traffic system should work flawlessly without constant oversight and an emergency operations center should be rapidly deployable during extreme weather to support emergency responders.
Existing IT networks that enable the connectivity needed to make this possible cannot always be relied upon to meet the multifaceted requirements of these programs. To support these programs with more reliable connectivity, some decision-makers in local governments have begun to rely on the benefits of installing passive optical local area networks (POL), such as:
- deploying a simplified yet robust carrier-class network architecture;
- future-proofing the network by increasing the longevity of the equipment and reducing overall costs; and
- centralizing the intelligence and management for security through software defined network (SDN Layer 2) capability.
Passive optical networks, an International Telecommunications Union standardized technology (ITU), have been widely deployed for more than 20 years in the fiber-to-the-home market serving residents with voice, video, and data. This approach is centered on the consolidation of all ethernet-based systems found in today’s buildings, including AV/CCTV, security, data, building automation/IoT, and Analog and IP-based phone systems. POL allows diverse network convergenceinto a single ethernet transport infrastructure to meet an organization’s evolving needs and maximize return on investment.
The benefits of POL
A key benefit of POL is the ability to deploy network services over greater distances with simplified cabling and network architecture. In the past, overly complex networks were deployed and wide area networking (WAN) introduced to compensate for the distance limitations of traditional local area networks (LAN). But, POL can deploy voice, video, and data from the centralized headend equipment to end users and other equipment across more than 12 miles. One recent adopter deployed POL to a Multi-Agency Service Park which houses several County agencies, including the police and fire academies, parks and planning, public school services for meal creation and a bus depot, as well as their emergency operations center.
Cost Savings for Your Project
POL utilizes single-mode optical fiber (SMF) that can be deployed to the desktop, traffic management pedestal, amphitheater, pole-mounted CCTV, or community Wi-Fi systems. SMF’s bandwidth capacity far exceeds tomorrow’s needs with nearly limitless 100+ Tbps capability. When SMF is deployed to the desktop, there is no need to replace Category-X cabling every few years with new, more expensive Category-X cabling, resulting in meaningful cost savings. Further, cost savings are also realized when local governments no longer require expensive yearly annual service contracts.
Security for the future
From a security perspective, POL is more secure, communicating with 128-bit AES encryption to the network’s edge. This more secure environment allows city and county IT professionals a cost-conscious sustainable future-proof alternative that enables centralized management of a software-defined network.
The deployment of POL in municipalities, counties, and local governments simplifies network connectivity and provides a scalable architecture for future expansion. The layer 1 infrastructure with SMF optics provide future cost savings no matter what technologies becomes available. POL provides a differentiator that saves money, provides a more secure and robust architecture, and increases the efficiency of the network.
Dustin Bateman is Director of Emerging Technology at VT Group, an Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN) member company. Dustin has spent his career developing Passive Optical LAN solutions for Enterprise style deployments in the Transportation, Hospitality, Federal Government, municipalities, mixed-use, and corporate office environments. Additionally, he is an author for the BICSI Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual and is an American Institute of Architects certified instructor. Dustin serves as member of the Association for Passive Optical LAN (APOLAN) Technology Committee.