Mesh and mobility

Bonneville adds to Puerto Rico’s first muni system
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

BAYAMON, P.R.--Is city government here happy with the surveillance system Bonneville Construction first installed in 2003? This year Bonneville has installed the 19th phase of the project, adding a wireless mesh network from Firetide and a mobile video surveillance vehicle it designed for Bayamon’s special operations.

“It’s been in continuous growth,” said Hector Sanchez, business development manager for BCSE Network Systems, division of Bonneville Construction. “The system started off with 84 cameras and now has 167, and it’s gone from strictly fiber and coax to UTP and now to mesh wireless.”

As the second largest city in Puerto Rico, Bayamon has the crime problems associated with any urban area and Sanchez said the system’s effectiveness in dealing with those issues has fueled the continued investment. “They’ve gotten 91 convictions related to the video evidence from the system,” he said.

Bonneville initially responded to the RFP because of its familiarity with the fiber network, but has now developed sufficient video expertise to launch its own mobile digital video surveillance unit, with three solar-powered PTZ cameras that connect back to a truck unit via 4.9 Ghz wireless communication.

With the mesh system installed, those mobile cameras can also integrate with the static system, and the next phase of the surveillance operation will allow for pushing video directly to police cars as they move about the city. The police are Bonneville’s point of contact for the system, and get direction from the mayor’s Special Assistant.

For Bonneville, which covers the U.S. Virgin Islands as well, with dozen or so dedicated security staff, it’s also leading to other municipal wireless work. “On those WANs, we’re looking to do mass notification,” said Sanchez, “really maximize the utilization of the network.”