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Comcast Business Lights Up the City of West Haven with Fiber-based Ethernet and Voice Services


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Situation:

  • Connecticut municipality with a population of more than 55,000
  • Upgraded technology infrastructure needed to support police and fire departments, libraries and other city offices
Challenge:

  • Connect multiple locations with faster, more reliable network connections
  • Replace legacy voice and data connections for improved public safety services
  • Provide wireless Internet access to library visitors
Solution:

  • Comcast Business Ethernet Network Service
  • Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet
  • Comcast Business PRI Trunks
Results:

  • Dependable connectivity from City Hall to 17 municipal locations
  • Improved safety with reliable data transfer for Web-based reverse 911 system and beach security camera system
  • Faster response times and improved customer experience for those calling into municipal offices
The City of West Haven, located in southwestern Connecticut, has a population of 55,564 and occupies 10.6 square miles, including four miles of public access beach.

The City relies heavily on its Internet, data and voice services to keep residents informed, deliver public services and ensure day-to-day operations are running smoothly.  As such, City officials are continuously seeking new and cost-effective ways to serve their constituents with public services and to provide easy, online access to public safety departments such as fire and police.

With the longest stretch of public access beach in the state, the City also uses an extensive beach surveillance system of more than 15 security cameras along the shoreline.  In order to monitor beach activity, the surveillance system is dependent on a reliable, high-capacity network to transfer the video signals.

According to Alan Olenick, IT manager for the City of West Haven, “Collaboration is key when running a city. To best support our constituents we need a fast, reliable network infrastructure to run critical applications between the fire dispatch and the police department, in addition to just connecting everyone together – which we were not getting with our previous legacy technology configuration.”

Outdated Technology Limits Connection Speeds and Frustrates Residents and Town Officials

As the Internet has become a critical method for mass communications, City officials were growing increasingly frustrated with the limitations of its existing network infrastructure and their aging telephone system, which dated back to the late 1990s. With one T1 line from the parks and recreation office to city hall and DSL lines connecting to other remote municipal offices, this low-speed connectivity was not meeting the needs of city personnel and residents.

Public safety was also a concern.  West Haven’s firehouses were frequently experiencing issues filing reports after an incident. Further, the City’s beach security camera system was both slow and unreliable in relaying critical video information to the police department.

City libraries were also eager to provide wireless Internet access to their patrons, however, there was not enough available Internet capacity to support it. 

Comcast Delivers Fiber-based Ethernet and Voice Solution for Improved Operations and Public Safety

In response to mounting demand to link all municipal locations with one network and drastically improve application performance, West Haven issued a request for proposal (RFP) to find an Internet, data network and voice service provider that could connect City Hall to 17 municipal offices located throughout West Haven.

After a thorough evaluation and competitive bid, Comcast was selected for its ability to deliver a comprehensive service design that included network, voice and Internet.  The fact that one company could address all three of their needs was an added bonus.  The city was so pleased with the strength and cost-effectiveness of Comcast’s solution, it added six firehouses and three libraries to the contract

“Comcast’s network was everywhere we needed it to be, and the local team worked so closely with us throughout the process that we were basically able to complete our entire network cutover overnight,” said Olenick.

With its Comcast deployment, West Haven now has a combination of 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps Comcast Business Ethernet Network Service (ENS) connections that link City Hall with 17 other municipal locations with reliable, scalable and seamless connectivity. The City also now has a 20 Mbps Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet (EDI) connection to City Hall that, in addition to expediting the transfer of administrative files like team minutes, agendas, permits and licenses, is the basis of the municipality’s Web-based Reverse 911 system. Their beach camera system is also performing well over the scalable network platform, a major benefit of the city’s upgrade to Comcast’s Ethernet Network Service.

With Comcast Business PRI Trunks, which deliver reliable voice service, West Haven is also advancing public safety.  Before the Comcast service, incoming calls to the city or the firehouse would often ring indefinitely.   Now calls are automatically forwarded to the appropriate attendant, improving firehouse operations and reducing the chance that an urgent call goes unanswered. 

“With Comcast Business we now have a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure that is impacting our citizens in numerous ways, from transferring security footage from our shoreline cameras to the police, to improved Internet access at our libraries, to enabling City Hall to be more responsive to inquiries and ensuring that calls to the fire department always get through. Comcast’s reliable and high-quality network is helping to further improve the excellence of our public services and the safety of our city,” said Olenick.

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