The city of Houston has deployed Firetide’s wireless mesh network as part of a Homeland Security-funded initiative to improve public safety in the downtown area. The network is a communications foundation that connects IP video cameras, located at 134 traffic intersections, allowing first responders in Houston to centrally monitor activity from a command center 24 x 7. With the ability to view live video feeds, it provides more virtual eyes on the streets and enables faster dispatch of officers where and when they are needed. Video feeds are also stored and can be used as effective evidence in court, reducing time and expense for prosecuting cases.

The Firetide network is comprised of over 200 Firetide HotPort nodes, with four gateways that attach to the city’s fiber network, connecting 300 Axis Communications high-definition IP cameras. Each camera needs 2-3 Mbps bandwidth therefore requiring the wireless network to maintain performance at close to 1 Gbps.

The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security oversees the development of Houston’s system, including the Firetide mesh project. U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding covered the costs for the project.

Chattanooga, Tenn., also has a wireless mesh network for public safety. (For more, see Chattanooga Rocks When It Comes to Broadband).

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