May 24, 2007 By News Report
Village of Bellwood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, has deployed a Proxim Wireless Wi-Fi mesh municipal network to provide its citizens with safer streets and an enhanced quality of life. Assisting Bellwood in network design, deployment, and expansion is Current Technologies Corporation, a Proxim Wireless partner, and networking infrastructure consulting and integration company based in Lisle, Illinois that specializes in Municipal Wi-Fi and Surveillance projects.
Bellwood's multi-faceted wireless plan, called the "Digital City" project, initially is using Proxim wireless technology to improve public safety, to increase the ability of police officers to concurrently monitor multiple areas of the Village, and to promote traffic and pedestrian safety to residents and commuters. To date, the network has resulted in a 20% decrease in property crimes and a decrease of 21% in 911 calls. It is also being used for traffic monitoring to issue citations to motorists who run red lights, make illegal turns, or commit other moving violations.
The Bellwood network features Proxim's ORiNOCO AP4000 Series Wi-Fi mesh products for access, Tsunami MP.11 point-to-multipoint products for fixed, building-to-building connectivity, and Tsunami GX point-to-point products for data backhaul.
"While Public Safety is the first and most critical application of our wireless network, it is only the beginning," said Roy McCampbell, comptroller/administrator, Village of Bellwood. "We are in the process of working with Current Technologies Corp. to expand our Proxim wireless network to support our mobile workforce and deliver city services more cost-effectively, and to provide ubiquitous Wi-Fi coverage to the businesses and citizens who make their homes here. The benefits to our community are tangible. Property values have increased; we are attracting more commercial tenants; and we have provided Bellwood with the safety and security of a gated community without the associated costs. We couldn't be more pleased."
"With an experienced partner like Current Technologies, we have provided the Village of Bellwood with a robust, cost-effective, and scalable municipal network that can be expanded easily to support additional applications," said Len Gee, vice president of sales Americas East and Government Systems, Proxim Wireless. "We appreciate the confidence that the Village has placed in our products and technology, and we are pleased that the network has made such a difference in the lives of Bellwood's citizens and businesses."
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.