- Government of growing Utah City manages 18 public locations
- City ranked No. 11 on Forbes’ list of Best Places for Business 2014
- Limited bandwidth from slow T1 connectivity
- Public safety at stake because police and fire fighters were experiencing communication lag times
- Comcast Business Ethernet Network Service
- Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet
- Improved public safety due to faster communication with first responders
- High-performance network provides backbone for public Wi-Fi
- Scalable capacity to roll-out new applications and services
Also known as Junction City, because it was built at the junction of the transcontinental railroad in the mid-1800s, Ogden City in northern Utah is a thriving community that overlooks Salt Lake. This growing town manages 18 municipal locations including five fire stations, two police stations, two golf courses, an airport, rodeo grounds, a filter plant, a number of parks, and other properties.
Ogden City was ranked number 11 on Forbes’ list of Best Places for Business 2014 and continues to attract new companies and their employees to the area. Anticipating future growth, city officials recognized the need for an IT infrastructure that could support local government operations and scale to provide quality public services and online information to more than 80,000 residents.
High-Performance Internet Critical to Public Safety and City-wide Communication
Ogden City was using legacy T1 lines at 1.5 Megabits per second (Mbps) for a total of 10 Mbps to connect its various departments and provide Internet access, but it wasn’t sufficient. Internet connectivity is critical to the City’s public safety response system including fire dispatch and police response, but fire trucks that rely on cellular signals to receive emergency calls were losing connectivity when they entered fire stations because of the brick-walled bays. Further, police officers were experiencing delays with image downloads and streaming video which was impeding their ability to effectively do their jobs.
During popular news events, the problem only got worse. “Our Internet connection was crawling during President Obama’s inauguration in 2009 because so many city employees were watching streaming video,” admits Andy Lefgren, IT Operation Manager for Ogden City. “We had to tell people not to watch because police officers and fire fighters couldn’t get through.”
Finally at a breaking point, Lefgren issued an RFP to 13 different service providers, including Comcast Business, in hopes of finding a more robust networking solution that would also help the City to keep costs down.
Comcast Business Ethernet Services Improve Communication for First Responders and City Employees
Ogden City selected Comcast Business because of its speed, scalability and no-cost increase. Comcast Business installed two 100 Mbps Ethernet Dedicated Internet circuits that provide Internet access directly to its city hall and public safety headquarters. Comcast Business also installed Ethernet Network Service to connect 16 other properties as well as city halld public safety headquarters. Each location is directly connected to every other one for maximum redundancy and reliability. Through a Wi-Fi network supported by Comcast Business services, fire trucks now have the ability to maintain contact with the local dispatchers’ network and there’s no lag time when police officers download reports or upload video. The city is also using Comcast Business Ethernet as the backbone for wireless services such as GIS mapping for park services, road construction outages and maps. They also plan to use the service for surveillance, specifically 300-400 cameras that monitor activity in real-time and connect to a crime center dashboard at the police station. Finally, IT leaders have benefited from the flexibility Comcast Business services offer by being able to provide temporary connectivity to seasonal locations such as their rodeo grounds, which are only used for two months each year
“By switching to Comcast Business, we were able to increase the amount of bandwidth available to various departments within the city while managing costs,” said Lefgren. “This allows us to operate more efficiently now, and gives us the opportunity to explore new technology initiatives, such as VoIP and expanded use of cloud and web services, which will allow us to better serve our citizens and provide them with Wi-Fi access when they are at one of our public locations.”
Added Lefgren: “We’ve been with really happy with Comcast Business’ services. They’ve exceeded what we thought was possible, and they’ve given us new hope for Internet Service Providers. We no longer have issues of latency—not even during the World Cup—and our employees have really felt the difference.”
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