Ruckus Wireless has teamed with Xtivity Solutions, a wireless integration, security and information technology services firm, to provide high-speed, long-range Wi-Fi systems to the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), one of the nation's largest public housing authorities.
Currently in the first phase of a Wi-Fi project, the engineers at Xtivity have designed an outdoor network using high-speed 802.11n Wi-Fi bridges from Ruckus Wireless at select CHA locations. The Wi-Fi bridges are being used to backhaul video surveillance files from the housing complexes to central sites where the video is stored and monitored. In the Chicago area, CHA operates some 972 buildings in 59 different locations.
CHA was created in 1937 to own and operate housing that was built by the federal government under President Franklin Roosevelt's Public Works Administration, and is the largest owner of rental housing in the city of Chicago. CHA provides homes to more than 50,000 families and individuals while supporting healthy communities in neighborhoods all across the city, through almost 9,200 apartments in buildings designated for seniors and more than 8,600 units of family housing. It also oversees the administration of 36,900 housing choice vouchers that allow low-income families to rent in the private market.
"A number of recent advances that make Wi-Fi much faster and more reliable created an opportunity for us to deliver high-speed connectivity and backhaul between different CHA facilities," said Terry Crowley, President and CEO for Xtivity. "Instead of physically trenching locations to install copper wire or fiber from one building to other nearby buildings, we're using 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi point-to-point bridges to deliver 100 Mbps or more of capacity, an approach that's much quicker and far less costly."
With the Ruckus Wi-Fi, multiple network video cameras at each building send compressed video traffic over the secured Wi-Fi link at data rates of 1.5 Mbps per stream. To manage the wireless bridges, Xtivity will be making use of the Ruckus Wi-Fi management system. Capable of supporting tens of thousands of Wi-Fi infrastructure devices such as Wi-Fi access points and bridges, FlexMaster is a comprehensive and full-featured Wi-Fi platform for managing large-scale Wi-Fi service infrastructures.
"Long-range, reliable Wi-Fi bridging lets our customers eliminate monthly recurring costs associated with alternative solutions such as copper and fiber connections," Crowley said. "Over time, these savings can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars when you're talking about large-scale deployments such as with CHA."
For many organizations, extending broadband communications links between different sites using satellite, microwave or fixed line access is often cost-prohibitive and time consuming to architect. New 802.11n point-to-point and point-to-multipoint bridges eliminate much of this cost and complexity. Lightweight, these 5GHz 802.11n bridges are a fraction of the cost of conventional technology and markedly easier to deploy.
According to Xtivity, the Ruckus Wi-Fi deployment is the first phase of a larger vision that will include providing Wi-Fi access across CHA locations. "As one of the most housing authorities in the country, CHA has taken a very innovative view on the use of next-generation Wi-Fi to enhance the operation of their facilities and to enable creative new services. Eventually, they'd like to use the Wi-Fi network to allow police cars to gain immediate and secure access over wireless to video surveillance data, as well as to bring broadband access to residents."